Sanofi-aventis and Merck reported today that it intends to combine its animal health businesses, Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough, respectively, to form Merial-Intervet.
The new joint venture will offer a broader portfolio of animal health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics, as well as the ability to capitalize on growth opportunities in all fields and countries in the world, the companies reported.
“The talents, products and expertise of both companies are very complementary and will create a company with greater geographical and market coverage,” said Christopher Viehbacher, chief executive officer of Sanofi-aventis. “As a result, we expect the new Merial-Intervet joint venture to drive significant growth.”
Raul Kohan, executive vice president and president of Merck’s Global Animal Health, will become chief executive officer of Merial-Intervet. He will commence his new responsibilities when the joint venture is approved by regulatory authorities and closes, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2011.
“Raul brings a wealth of animal health and global pharmaceutical industry experience,” said Richard Clark, Merck chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re pleased that Raul will lead the integration of the two companies while continuing to deliver global growth momentum.
The new joint venture will have one of the broadest portfolios of animal health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics to meet the needs of millions of customers.”
Jose Barella, the current executive chairman of Merial, will continue his role until the transaction closes. He will work closely with Kohan and contribute to the transition of the new combined animal health business.
The formation of Merial-Intervet is subject to execution of final agreements, antitrust review in the United States, Europe and other countries, as well as other customary closing conditions, Sanofi-aventis and Merck noted.
Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough will continue to operate independently until the closing of the transaction.