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Reckitt Benckiser Plc (RB.L) The Front Runner To Buy Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)'s Consumer Health Unit: Sources


4/9/2014 6:14:14 AM

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In the battle between global consumer-health companies for a multi billion dollar foot-care, allergy and sun-tan lotion business, Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB/) has advantages that rivals will be hard pressed to match.

The maker of Durex condoms is considered the frontrunner to buy Merck & Co.’s over-the-counter health business because it would be able to generate the most cost savings and have fewer antitrust issues than competitors, people familiar with the matter said. Reckitt Benckiser is facing off against companies including Novartis AG (NOVN), Bayer AG and Sanofi and final, binding bids are expected on April 16, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

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