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Merck acquires Serono
In a €10 billion deal, Merck has bought the Swiss biotech company Serono, a move creating the seventh largest drug group in Europe and which may see a round of further acquisitions by big pharma companies.
The Merck-Serono deal comes hot on the heels of its failed attempt to buy Schering earlier this year in a hostile €14 billion takeover.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck's Pharma Ethicals division will be combined with Serono to create MerckSerono Biopharmaceuticals, which will be based in Geneva. Additionally, Merck will pay for Serono's 64.5% stake held by the Bertarelli family, and will make a public tender for the rest of the shares in November. "Both companies have a unique opportunity to achieve a competitive advantage through a combined R&D budget and a stronger product portfolio," said Michael Roemer, chairman of the executive board of Merck.