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Merck To Acquire Schering-Plough

Merck & Co. has announced they have agreed to acquire Schering-Plough.

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Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., has agreed to acquire Schering-Plough of Kenilworth, N.J.

The $41.1 billion cash and stock deal, which needs regulatory approval, includes Schering-Plough’s animal health business. Merck owns 50 percent of Merial Ltd. as a joint venture with Sanofi-Aventis.

Richard Clark, Merck's chairman, president and chief executive officer will, lead the combined company, which will operate under the Merck name and be headquartered in Whitehouse Station.

The companies reported in a statement released March 9, that the transaction contains many strategic benefits. For example, the merger expands their global presence with a geographically diverse revenue base. Schering-Plough generates about 70 percent of its revenue outside the U.S., including more than $2 billion in annual revenue from emerging markets. This will dramatically accelerate Merck’s international growth efforts, including the goal of reaching top five market share in targeted emerging markets, according to the statement.

The transaction also brings complementary product portfolios and pipelines in the human health market, increased manufacturing capabilities and a stronger commercial organization.

Merck expects a substantial majority of Schering-Plough employees to remain with the combined company. Both companies will institute hiring freezes immediately.

The combined 2008 revenues of Merck and Schering-Plough totaled $47 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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