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Merck completes $17-billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich

November 18, 2015
Life sciences

Merck (Darmstadt, Germany) today announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of life science company Sigma-Aldrich (St. Louis). Merck, in September 2014, agreed to acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17.0 billion. The completion of the acquisition follows approval from the European Commission last week, which was the final antitrust condition required to close the Sigma-Aldrich transaction. The acquisition establishes a leading player in the $130-billion life science industry, Merck says. The new business will be named Merck all across the world, except for the United States and Canada, where the business will be named MilliporeSigma.

Following the acquisition, Merck will have about 50,000 employees in 67 countries, working at 72 manufacturing sites worldwide. Combined pro forma full-year life science sales amounted to €4.6 billion ($4.9 billion) in 2014, Merck says. Merck expects its total sales to amount to between €12.6 billion and €12.8 billion in 2015.

Merck says it has made acquisitions and divestments totaling €38 billion in the past decade, turning the former pharma and chemicals company into a science and technology company with three businesses in healthcare, life science and performance materials. “The acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich marks the culmination of almost a decade of transformation,” says Karl-Ludwig Kley, CEO and chairman of Merck.

Sigma-Aldrich has three business units—research, applied, and SAFC Commercial. Sigma-Aldrich’s SAFC Commercial business, excluding the SAFC hitech business, will be part of Merck’s life science business sector. The SAFC hitech business will be integrated into Merck’s performance materials business and will operate as part of its integrated circuits business unit. SAFC hitech and Merck’s performance materials businesses offer complementary technologies, Merck says.

“This is a significant milestone in Merck’s long-term strategy to invest in life science,” says Bernd Reckmann, member of the executive board in charge of Merck’s life science and performance materials business sectors. “The acquisition of [life science company] Millipore in 2010 was the first major step in that journey and with the completion of the Sigma-Aldrich acquisition we will take a quantum leap toward securing our competitive position in that space,” Reckmann says.

With the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, Merck will be able to serve life science customers around the world with a set of established brands such as SAFC and BioReliance, in addition to Millipore and Milli-Q, as well as a supply chain that can support the delivery of more than 300,000 products, Merck says.

“We’ve designed the new organization to fully tap into our combined capabilities, particularly in integrated supply chain operations, information technology and e-commerce,” says Udit Batra, president and CEO of the life science business of Merck.

By Deepti Ramesh

Source: Chemical Week

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