Merck KGaA, the family-owned pharmaceutical and chemical company, announced yesterday it is to buy US-based Millipore Corporation in a deal worth €5.3 billion.
Merck, in its 12th-generation of family ownership, said the deal to acquire the life sciences company will create a business with €2.1 billion in revenues and access to "an attractive growth market".
Karl-Ludwig Kley, non-family chairman of the executive board at Merck, explained some of the advantages of the deal: "This is a combination with an excellent strategic fit, which will allow us to cover the entire value chain for our pharma and biopharma customers, offering integrated solutions beyond chemicals."
Merck said it is to finance the transaction in cash as well as taking on the net debt of Millipore, which had 2009 revenues of $1.65 billion.
The announcement comes in the same week Merck announced its financial results, which saw 2009 revenues increase 2.1% to €7.7 billion compared with 2008's results.
The founding family owns around 70% of Merck through its holding company E Merck KG and, through a family board, defines the basic strategy of the Merck companies. With roots dating back to 1668, Merck is the oldest chemical and pharmaceutical company in the world and was awarded the 2009 IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
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