Sanofi still in the race for Bayer' blood glusose testing business: report

French health-care company Sanofi SA is the last remaining suitor for the self-monitoring of blood glucose testing business of Bayer AG, for which the German pharmaceutical giant is seeking around $1.5 billion or more, The Wall Street Journal today reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

While both companies are negotiating the price, another suitor could possibly re-emerge the report added.

A final deal, hammered by both parties, would come as a surprise after several German newspapers in October reported that the sale failed to generate sufficient interest from buyers as they found the terms unattractive.

Suitors that initially took part in the auction include Japan's Panasonic Corp, Abbot Laboratories, and Johnson & Johnson, while Swiss drug giant Roche stayed away fearing anti-trust issues.

Suppliers of glucose monitors used by diabetics include Roche, Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, with Roche and Johnson & Johnson holding a combined 50 per cent of the global market share.

A potential acquisition of Bayer's blood glucose meter business would complement Sanofi's diabetes drug business which includes its popular Lantus insulin brand.

Bayer Diabetes Care unit, which makes blood glucose testing meters, has annual sales of about €1 billion ($1.3 billion).