Geneva, Switzerland (Sept. 21)––Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany, www.merck.de) has agreed to buy a majority stake in the European biotechnology company Serono SA (Geneva, Switzerland, www.serono.com) for CHF 16.6 billion ($13.3 billion). The deal is expected to close in early 2007.
Merck KGaA’s ethical pharmaceutical division will be combined with Serono to create a new company, Merck-Serono Biopharmaceuticals, globally headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with US headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.
The combined company will have pro-forma sales of EUR 7.7 billion ($9.8 billion), which includes EUR 3.6 billion ($4.6 billion) in biopharmaceutical sales.
Earlier in 2006, Merck KGaA had lost its bid to acquire Schering AG (Berlin, Germany, www.schering.de), eventually deferring to Bayer Healthcare (Leverkusen, Germany, www.bayer.de), which is acquiring Schering AG.