October 20, 2015 / 7:08 AM / 2 years ago

Actelion CFO says biotech could make acquisitions exceeding $2.5 bln

ZURICH, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Actelion has the financial capacity for acquisitions exceeding $2.5 billion but such large acquisitions would have to be justified because they carry more risks, Chief Financial Officer Andre Muller told Reuters on Tuesday in an interview.

Actelion boosted its full-year earnings growth forecast on Tuesday on higher-than-forecast sales of a new drug to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, Opsumit.

In the Reuters interview, Muller and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Clozel said the company has 700 million Swiss francs ($732.52 million) in cash, a strong balance sheet and cash flow and the ability to raise more capital, should the right acquisition target arise.

Clozel said that the company is regularly in discussions with "seven or eight companies" on possible partnerships, but said acquisitions are "not a fundamental aspect of our strategy."

"We don't need M & A," Clozel said, declining to comment on its strategic discussions with Texas-based ZS Pharma, which the company confirmed in September.

Clozel added that Actelion hasn't been approached by others seeking to acquire the Swiss company. ($1 = 0.9556 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller)

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