Botox Maker Allergan in Talks on Merger With Pfizer

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The Pfizer logo at the world headquarters in New York. Between 2012 and 2017, Nitrostat, which is sold by Pfizer, increased by 477 percent, from $15.91 to $91.76. Nothing about the drug, which prevents and treats chest pain, changed in those years. Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Botox maker Allergan Plc on Thursday said it was in preliminary, friendly talks with Pfizer Inc on a potential merger, a deal that would create the world's largest drugmaker.

Ireland-based Allergan said there was no certainty the talks would lead to a deal, and did not discuss the terms that might lead to a tie-up with Pfizer.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read earlier Thursday said he was open to any moves that produce the best long-term value for the company, but declined to directly comment on reports of talks with Allergan.

Speaking at a Wall Street Journal event, Read said he was looking at various growth strategies, including a deal, "if that would add value to shareholders."

"Or we could sit tight or we could do a split. Or we could do a business development deal and then do a split, whatever produces the best long-term value," Read said.

Botox Maker Allergan in Talks on Merger With Pfizer | Business