21 September 2006 11:52 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Merck KGaA on Thursday said it had agreed to buy Swiss biopharmaceuticals company Serono in a deal valued at SF16.6bn (€10.5bn, $13.3bn).
Merck KGaA said its acquisition of family-held Serono would transform its ethical pharmaceuticals business and create a leader in biologic medicines. ?xml:namespace>
The acquisition would create a company with biopharmaceuticals sales of €3.6m.
The total Merck KGaA chemicals and drugs business would grow to generate sales of €7.7bn from €5.9bn in 2005.
Earlier this year Merck KGaA was beaten by Bayer in its attempt to buy German drugs group Schering.
“The companies are a perfect fit with 28 compounds in development,” Merck KGaA executive board chairman Michael Roemer said.
Merck-Serono Biopharmaceuticals would have a research and development budget of more than €1bn.
Billionaire sailor Ernesto Bertarelli, whose family owns 64.5% of Serono, said the new business would have strong capabilities in neurology and oncology as well as an expanded global reach.
Merck KGaA is 73% family owned. The company said the all cash transaction would be refinanced through a syndicated loan, a bond and a capital increase of between €2bn and €2.5bn, in which the Merck family would participate with an amount of up to €1bn.
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