Botox Maker Allergan in Talks on Merger With Pfizer

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.