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Over-the-counter drug favorite Merck sells popular brands to Bayer

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/6/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Merck produces Coppertone, Claritin and Dr. Scholl's Foot Pads

The maker of such over-the-counter favorites as Coppertone, Claritin and Dr. Scholl's has sold its consumer care brands to Germany's Bayer for $14.2 billion. The latest deal between Merck and Bayer is just the latest deal in a wave of mergers and acquisitions sweeping the healthcare industry.

Merck was the biggest U.S. spender on research and development in pharmaceuticals and biotech in 2012. Merck has been undergoing restructuring in order to focus on vaccines and treatments for cancer and diabetes.

Merck was the biggest U.S. spender on research and development in pharmaceuticals and biotech in 2012. Merck has been undergoing restructuring in order to focus on vaccines and treatments for cancer and diabetes.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/6/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Merck, Bayer, buyout, over-the-counter


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Bayer, the deal would add $2.2 billion in annual sales to its non-prescription business. This would make Bayer the second biggest provider of over the counter products worldwide.

Merck was the biggest U.S. spender on research and development in pharmaceuticals and biotech in 2012. Merck has been undergoing restructuring in order to focus on vaccines and treatments for cancer and diabetes.

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After-tax proceeds from the sale are likely to be between $8 and $9 billion. The profits will be used to develop its most promising products, such as skin and lung cancer treatment MK-3475, according to Merck.

Both Bayer and Merck have agreed to work together to develop new compounds to treat various cardiovascular diseases. Under the agreement, Merck will pay Bayer $1 billion upfront. Payments of $1.1 billion related to that agreement will unfold later on.

Corporate activity in the sector has been fruitful thus far for 2014. The value of pharmaceutical deals announced this year is running at its highest level since 2009, at a record level across the broader healthcare sector.

Driven by low interest rates that make it cheaper to borrow money and swollen corporate treasure chests has spurred on a buying spree in the pharmaceutical world. Many companies have a lot of cash on hand. There are also ongoing pushes for firms to expand their drug pipelines as patents expire and competition heats up.

The best may be yet to come. By far the biggest potential acquisition currently on the cards is Pfizer's attempt to buy AstraZeneca for $106 billion. AstraZeneca's board has rejected Pfizer's bid, and the U.S. firm now has until May 26 to change its mind. If this fails, Pfizer then has to decide whether to withdraw or go hostile by making an offer direct to shareholders.

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