Corporate Activity — Mergers and Acquisitions
Five days, three deals
There was a hive of activity in Germany as three companies announced major merger and acquisition deals in the space of 5 days. The deals, involving Merck KGaA, ALTANA and Schwarz Pharma, had a combined total of €19.5 billion ($US24.6 billion). These deals reflect a trend of consolidation among Europe’s second-tier drug companies. Earlier in the year Bayer outbid Merck KGaA to acquire Schering AG in a deal worth nearly €16.9 billion ($US21.5 billion).
Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany has purchased a majority stake in the Swiss biotechnology company Serono. With Merck holding the 64.5% stake of the Bertarelli family, the company will make a public tender for the rest of the shares in November. The transaction is part of a takeover worth €10.6 billion ($US13.3 billion) that will expand Merck’s range of drugs and increase its share of the global biotechnology market. Merck’s Pharma Ethicals division will be combined with Serono to create Merck-Serono...