Valeant Pharmaceuticals is reportedly holding advanced talks to divest its gastrointestinal treatment specialist business to Japanese firm Takeda Pharmaceutical for approximately $10bn.
According to The Wall Street Journal report, this move is being taken to reduce Valeant's huge debt.
The daily also reported that purchase price for Salix Pharmaceuticals may comprise about $8.5bn in cash and future royalty payments to Valeant.
The Financial Times (FT) reported citing people familiar with the case that the actual terms of the potential deal for Salix Pharmaceuticals is still being negotiated and the deal may not even materialise.
For several months now, Takeda has been scouting for a big deal.
In September, FT reported that Takeda intends to spend up to $15bn on an acquisition, particularly in gastroenterology.
Valeant invested $14.5bn to acquire Salix in 2015.
Meanwhile, Valeant issued a statement regarding comments attributed to anonymous sources in press reports regarding its gastroenterology business unit.
The firm stated: "In accordance with its duties to shareholders and other stakeholders, management evaluates any transaction relating to core or non-core business units in accordance with the best interest of its shareholders and stakeholders.
“We are currently in discussions with third parties for various divestitures, including but not limited to, Salix. The discussions may or may not lead to a definitive agreement.
“Valeant does not intend to comment further on market speculation or disclose any developments unless and until it otherwise deems further disclosure is appropriate or required."