It has been reported that Nycomed has now made a bid for Solvay’s pharmaceutical unit, thought to be in the region of 4-4.5 billion euros.

Reuters quotes people “familiar with the matter” as saying that the privately-owned Swiss drugmaker has made a “fully-financed” offer, which is expected to be funded in the main through bond issues and bridge loans. The news agency’s sources added that Nycomed may also arrange longer-term bank finance via its US subsidiary.

The companies have not responded to the reports, although in the summer Solvay’s chief executive Christian Jourquin stressed that the firm will not be rushed in completing a previously-announced strategic review. He added that the Brussels-based group could have more news on the future of its pharmaceuticals unit in the fourth quarter.

Nycomed has emerged as the most likely buyer of the Solvay unit but Reuters added that the latter has received a number of proposals. Where these approaches have come from is not clear as two potential buyers – Abbott Laboratories, Solvay’s partner on the cholesterol drug TriCor (fenofibrate) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co – have explicitly stated that they were not planning as bid.