Wellcome is a tempting target in many ways. It has a speciality - anti- virals - that would complement the price lists of many other pharmaceutical companies. It is also vulnerable in that it is over-dependent on one product, Zovirax. In addition, the trust that owns 40 per cent has made it clear it would like to reduce its stake further.
Clearly the trust is not about to assist in a hostile bid. So any deal would depend on convincing Wellcome's board of the logic behind a merger. So far John Robb, Wellcome's chairman and chief executive, has made no bones about his opposition to such a move. The relentless loss of top management from the group may hint at board-level disagreement.Reuse content