Merck, Schering-Plough merger announced


Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. announced a $41.1 billion merger March 9, but it's unclear how it will affect both companies' animal-health businesses.

Schering-Plough combined forces with Intervet in 2007 after it purchased the animal-health segment from Akzo Nobel and sold off certain products in the European market to Pfizer in late 2008. Intervet/Schering-Plough emerged as the largest animal-health company in the world.

Merial has been jointly owned by Merck and Sanofi-Aventis since 1997, and ranks as the world's second largest animal-health company.

Corporate statements on the Merck/Schering-Plough merger did not go into detail on the fate of the animal-health businesses. And the announcement follows another blockbuster acquisition between Pfizer and Wyeth (Fort Dodge Animal Health) that was announced earlier this year.

As part of the Merck/Schering-Plough deal, the stock and cash transaction planned by the two companies will result in Merck shareholders owning about 68 percent of the combined company and Schering-Plough shareholders owning about 32 percent. Merck Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Clark will lead the combined new company, which will retain the name Merck.


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