Shares of Salix Pharmaceuticals were up more than 4 percent Friday after both CNBC and Reuters reported that Valeant Pharmaceuticals was nearing a deal to acquire the Raleigh company.
Both reports said the acquisition price was around $160 a share, citing people familiar with the matter. Salix shares were trading at $158, up $7.26, early Friday afternoon.
CNBC’s David Faber said a deal could happen as early as next week.
Salix, which sells drugs to treat gastrointestinal ailments, has reportedly been in talks with multiple suitors about a possible sale for months. The talks cooled in November after the company disclosed that it had been reporting elevated inventory levels for three of its drugs.
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The disclosure led to the departure of both the company's chief financial officer and chief executive officer. Salix has since said it would make relatively minor changes to its financial statements for 2013 and the first three quarters of 2014.
Salix has hired an investment bank to help it explore its options, including a possible sale, according to an earlier recent report by Reuters. Shire Plc has also expressed interest in buying Salix, Bloomberg reported, again citing people familiar with the matter.
Salix is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings after the markets close on March 2.