MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the aqua business of Elanco Animal Health Incorporated for €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in cash. The acquisition is expected to be completed by mid-year 2024, subject to approvals from regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions.
Elanco contains an innovative portfolio of medicines and vaccines, nutritionals, and supplements for aquatic species; two related aqua manufacturing facilities in Canada and Vietnam; as well as a research facility in Chile.
Upon closing, the acquisition will broaden MSD Animal Health’s aqua portfolio. This acquisition also brings a portfolio of water treatment products for warm water production, complementing MSD Animal Health’s warm water vaccine portfolio. In addition to these products, the DNA-based vaccine technology that is a part of the business has the potential to accelerate the development of novel vaccines to address the unmet needs of the aqua industry.
“We are excited for the acquisition of Elanco’s aqua products, solutions as well as the capabilities and expertise the team brings to our business,” said Rick DeLuca, president, MSD Animal Health.
Elanco Animal Health President and CEO Jeff Simmons said, “Following a robust process over the last year, MSD Animal Health emerged as the right strategic buyer for the aquaculture business. I am confident they will continue to deliver value to the aqua customers that rely on these products and create opportunities for our team to continue to grow.”
This acquisition will represent the latest in a series of acquisitions which have augmented MSD Animal Health’s aqua business. In March 2019, MSD Animal Health acquired Scan Aqua AS, a fish health and fish welfare company based in Norway, focused on key aqua products. In April 2019, MSD Animal Health announced the completion of its acquisition of Antelliq Corporation, which included Biomark, a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging and tracking technology for monitoring fish and wildlife. In December 2019, MSD Animal Health acquired Vaki, a leader in aquaculture and wild fish conservation monitoring equipment and real-time video monitoring technology for fish counting and size estimation from freshwater to saltwater rearing, while collecting and analytics for each stage of fish production.
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