Bayer Bids for Schering AG in Friendly Merger Offer

March 24, 2006
Patricia Van Arnum

Patricia Van Arnum was executive editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.

Bayer Bids for Schering AG in Friendly Merger Offer

Bayer AG (Leverkusen, Germany, www.bayer.com) has made a €16.3 billion ($19.5 billion)public takeover bid for Schering AG (Berlin, Germany, www.schering.de), trumping Merck KGaA’s (Darmstadt, Germany, www.merck.de) earlier attempts to take over Schering for €14.6 billion ($17.2 billion). 

Schering’s board of executive management, which had earlier rejected Merck KGaA’s bid, supports Bayer’s offer of €86 in cash for each Schering share. “Joining forces of Schering and Bayer will form a leading specialized pharmaceutical company,” said Schering AG Chairman of the Executive Board Hubertus Erlen. “Both businesses are complementary and follow the same strategy. Together they will be even more competitive internationally”.

The deal would combine Bayer’s existing pharmaceuticals division with Schering AG to create an independent division of Bayer HealthCare, which would be called Bayer-Schering Pharmaceuticals. The merged pharmaceuticals business would be based at Schering’s present headquarters in Berlin.

The planned acquisition of Schering is consistent with Bayer HealthCare’s stated strategy to strengthen its pharmaceuticals business with a focus on specialty care. Key products in the combined portfolio are Bayer’s anticancer therapy “Nexavar” (sorafenib), Schering’s multiple sclerosis drug “Betaferon” (interferon beta 1-b), and two biologics products-Schering’s "Leukine" (sargramostim) and Bayer’s genetically engineered "Factor VIII Kogenate."

Following the acquisition, Bayer-Schering Pharmaceuticals would have four projects in registration, 19 in Phase III clinical testing, 14 in Phase II trials, and 17 in Phase I development.

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