Abbott to hive off flu vaccine business of Solvay: report

Diversified US pharmaceuticals healthcare company Abbott Laboratories has reportedly put the flu-vaccine business of its recent acquisition, Solvay, for sale in a deal worth about $619 million.

The move comes in a year of consolidation of the global pharmaceutical industry.

The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that the Abbott Park- Illinois based Abbott is seeking a buyer for the flu vaccine unit of the Belgium-based Solvay, and reports said major pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline may show an interest in buying it.

"We are now exploring the option to potentially sell Solvay's vaccine business," an Abbott spokeswoman told the Journal.

The company had launched an auction last week, sending marketing materials to a handful of large healthcare companies, the paper said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

In September 2009, Abbott acquired the pharmaceutical business, including the vaccine business, of Solvay for $6.6 billion in cash. (See: Abbott to acquire Belgian drug company Solvay for $6.6 billion)