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Merck has much to gain under P&G, stock soars

Merck's consumer health unit includes brands such as Seven Seas Femibion and Neurobion

It expects the sale to P&G to close by the fourth quarter.

The Merck unit also includes vitamin brands like Femibion and Neurobion.

"The attractive price reflects the high asset value and the performance Consumer Health has delivered", said Stefan Oschmann, chief executive of Merck. It is a clear demonstration of our continued commitment to actively shape our portfolio as a leading science and technology company.

P&G said that the acquisition will improve its OTC geographic scale, brand portfolio and category footprint in the vast majority of the world's top 15 OTC markets. He added that consumer health is a "strong business" that deserves the "best possible opportunities" for its future development. In an April 19 statement, Merck KGaA said the money from its divestiture would mostly go toward paying down that debt. "With P&G we have found a strong, highly recognized player who has the necessary scale to successfully drive the business going forward".

At the same time, P&G is acquiring the Consumer Health business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, for a purchase price of approximately €3.4 billion. The company exceeded analyst expectations on net sales and profit growth, but fell short of expectations on organic sales growth. The Merck consumer healthcare brands generate almost $1 billion in annual sales and grew 6% in the past two years.

The consumer health business of Merck is active worldwide, in regions such as Asia, Europe and Latin America, and sells more than 900 products.

Procter & Gamble, a US based consumer healthcare goods firm, has chose to purchase Merck KGaA's consumer health business for more than Dollars 4 billion.

As a part of this deal, the acquirer (P&G) has signed an agreement to acquire 51.8% equity stake in Merck's Indian arm, Merck Ltd from three promoter/promoter group entities i.e. (1) Emedia Export Company MBH (21.29% of share capital) (2) Merck Internationale Beteiligungen GmbH (18.62%) and (3) Chemitra GmbH (11.89%).

Merck said the divestment of its consumer health business did not change its goal of keeping net sales of its established prescription drugs, such as Erbitux against cancer and multiple sclerosis treatment Rebif, organically stable until 2022.