French drugmaker Sanofi SA announced it had entered negotiations to swap its animal healthcare business for Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH ’s consumer healthcare unit. The proposed deal values Sanofi’s animal health business at 11.4 billion euros ($12.6 billion) and Boehringer’s consumer healthcare business at 6.7 billion euros ($7.4 billion), the company press release said Tuesday.

Boehringer would also pay Sanofi 4.7 billion euros ($5.16 billion) in cash as part of the deal, pushing the collective estimated deal value to over $25 billion. Boehringer consumer healthcare business in China would be excluded from the transaction.

The exchange would make Sanofi the market leader in the consumer healthcare division, holding about 4.6 percent of the global market while Germany-based Boehringer would become the world's second-largest animal health company. The French firm said it expects a definitive agreement to be signed in the coming months and aims to close the potential transaction in the fourth quarter of next year.

The deal is projected to add to Sanofi’s earnings from 2018. The company said it plans to buy back shares using some of the cash proceeds of the swap.

Sanofi’s stock was up about 5.3 percent during morning trade on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange. Boehringer is privately owned.

The announcement indicates an overhaul at Sanofi under new CEO Olivier Brandicourt, who took over the company in April. In November, Brandicourt said that Sanofi was mulling options for its animal health unit Merial due to the “limited synergies” it offered with the rest of the company.

"In entering into exclusive negotiations with Boehringer Ingelheim, we have acted swiftly to meet one of the key strategic objectives of our roadmap 2020, namely to build competitive positions in areas where we can achieve leadership," Brandicourt said in a statement Tuesday.

The proposed swap would be the latest in a flurry of billion-dollar deals in the pharmaceutical industry in 2015, as larger companies try to narrow down their businesses and cut costs for developing and marketing new drugs.

The pharma sector registered 268 deals worth $231.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2015, up more than 93 percent over the same period last year, reports citing data from Mergermarket said. This includes 2015’s biggest deal -- the merger of Pfizer Inc. and Allergan valued at $160 billion.