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Bayer says looking for opportunities to grow animal health unit

Bayer said it was looking for opportunities to expand its in animal health unit, even after it agreed to buy Merck & Co's non-prescription drugs business for $14.2 billion.

"We have a good animal health business and we would like to get bigger and stronger," Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers told analysts in a conference call on Tuesday.

"There are things happening in the animal health market that we are closely observing."

Novartis last month sold its animal health unit to Eli Lilly for $5.4 billion. Sources have said that Bayer had been among the suitors for the unit.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger)