GREENFIELD - A new report from Bloomberg says an agreement between Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) and Germany-based Bayer AG could be announced as soon as next week. The news service reported Wednesday the two companies are looking to announce a deal involving Bayer's animal health unit around the time of Elanco's earnings release, which will take place Tuesday.

Bloomberg, citing sources who asked to not be identified due to the private nature of the discussions between the two companies, says Elanco plans to use stock to pay for at least part of the acquisition. One source told the news service Bayer would get a "significant minority stake" in Elanco and the companies are currently working out potential antitrust issues.

Discussions of a possible merger between the two companies were first reported in July. Bloomberg previously reported the sale of Bayer's animal health unit could be valued at as much as $9 billion.

A spokesperson for Elanco declined to comment on the story. The company has made several acquisitions over the years, including last month when it completed its $245 million acquisition of Kansas-based Aratana Therapeutics. Last week, Elanco announced plans to acquire Montreal-based Prevtech Microbia Inc. in a $60 million deal.

Elanco was also involved in a massive deal in 2014 when its then-parent company, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY), acquired the animal health unit of Novartis AG for $5.4 billion.

Elanco was spun off from Lilly into its own publicly-traded company last year.