Swiss biotech company withdraws sale offer
Swiss biotechnology company Serono, the focus of takeover speculation for months, said it was no longer up for sale because offers had fallen short of its value, the Associated Press reports. Serono''s controlling shareholder, the Bertarelli family, has officially ended discussions over the possible sale of the company, a Serono statement said. The Geneva-based company added it would now consider making acquisitions of its own. Serono became the subject of takeover speculation in November after it said it had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to evaluate strategic options, including a possible sale to a bigger competitor. Major pharmaceutical companies including Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Sanofi-Aventis SA and Pfizer Inc. were rumored to be interested, but no deal emerged. Serono is Europe''s largest biotechnology company.