Merck and Schering-Plough to Merge

March 9, 2009

Merck and Schering-Plough announced that the two companies will combine in a stock and cash transaction, valued at approximately $41.1 billion. 

According to a press release, the combined company will be uniquely positioned to continue to grow by discovering, developing and delivering innovative treatments for patients around the world.  The companies said in a joint statement that the merged company would keep the name Merck, and that the deal had been unanimously approved by their boards. Richard T. Clark, Merck’s chairman and chief executive, will lead the combined company.

“We are creating a strong, global health-care leader built for sustainable growth and success,” Clark said in a statement. “The combined company will benefit from a formidable research and development pipeline, a significantly broader portfolio of medicines and an expanded presence in key international markets, particularly in high-growth emerging markets. The efficiencies we gain will allow us to invest in strategic opportunities, while creating meaningful value for shareholders.”

The transaction will be structured as a “reverse merger” in which Schering-Plough, renamed Merck, will continue as the surviving public corporation.

Merck is among the big pharmaceutical companies that are facing patent expirations on top-selling drugs with few promising prospects to replace them. The company had topped many lists as a potential acquirer of a rival company.

The transaction creates a combined company with complementary commercial products and pipelines and a shared focus on important therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology, neuroscience, infectious disease, immunology and women’s health.  The transaction will double the number of potential medicines Merck has in Phase III development, bringing the total to 18.

Additionally, the merger will introduce a more geographically diverse mix of business, the combined company is expected to generate more than 50% of its revenue outside the United States.

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