January 4, 2017 / 3:47 PM / a year ago

Actelion pulls out of health conference amid M&A activity

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss biotech group Actelion ATLN.S has canceled a scheduled appearance at next week’s JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco, it said on Wednesday.

The company's logo is seen at the headquarters of Swiss biotech company Actelion in Allschwil, Switzerland December 6, 2016. Reuters / Arnd Wiegman

A spokesman gave no reason for the move, which comes after Actelion entered exclusive talks with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) (JNJ.N) last month about a possible transaction.

Chief Executive Jean-Paul Clozel has represented Actelion at the high-profile conference in the past, but it was not immediately clear who was set to speak this year.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that J&J was negotiating a deal that would separate Actelion’s commercialized portfolio from its research and development assets. Any deal could emerge by late this month.

The deal structure would allow J&J to acquire Actelion with a cash offer in the region of $260 per share. It also would let Actelion shareholders benefit financially from Actelion’s R&D pipeline, the people said.

Reporting by Paul Arnold; Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter

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