Business World

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Bayer planning expansion of animal health unit

Marijn Dekkers, CEO of German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer
Marijn Dekkers, CEO of German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer

Bayer has said it is looking for opportunities to expand its animal health unit even after agreeing to buy Merck's non-prescription drugs business for $14.2bn (€10.19bn) yesterday.

"We have a good animal health business and we would like to get bigger and stronger," chief executive Marijn Dekkers told analysts.

Novartis last month sold its animal health unit to Eli Lilly for $5.4bn. Sources have said that Bayer had been among the suitors for the unit.

Merck said yesterday it plans to sell its consumer care business to Germany's Bayer.

"This acquisition marks a major milestone on our path towards global leadership in the attractive non-prescription medicines business," Mr Dekkers said in a statement.

Merck said it expects after-tax proceeds of between $8bn and $9bn from the sale, which is expected to close in the second half of this year.

The transaction will make Bayer the second biggest over-the- counter drugs maker after Johnson & Johnson.

Irish Independent

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