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Sanofi-aventis to Acquire Merck’s Interest in Merial


August 4, 2009
By Canadian Poultry

Topics

July 31, 2009 – French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis will acquire Merck's interest in animal health company Merial, the companies announced on Thursday, July 30.

July 31, 2009 – French
pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis will acquire Merck's interest in
animal health company Merial, the companies announced on Thursday, July
30.

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Sanofi-aventis and Merck & Co.,
Inc. signed a definitive agreement under which Merck will sell its 50
percent interest in the companies' current animal health joint venture,
Merial Limited (Merial), to sanofi-aventis for $4 billion (US) in cash.

Formed in 1997, Merial is a leading animal health company that was a
50/50 joint venture between Merck and sanofi-aventis. 

In addition to the Merial agreement, Merck, sanofi-aventis and Schering-Plough announced the signing of a call option agreement.  Under the terms of the call option agreement, following the closing of the Merck/Schering-Plough merger, sanofi-aventis would have an option to combine the Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health business with Merial to form an animal health joint venture that would be owned equally by the new Merck and sanofi-aventis.

Between September 30, 2009 and the closing of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, the agreements provide Merck with certain rights to terminate the option for a fee of $400 million or $600 million (US).
 
The companies said Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health will continue to operate independently until the closing of any potential combination of Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.