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Merck and Schering-Plough to Merge

by 5m Editor
9 March 2009, at 12:00am

GLOBE - Merck & Co., Inc. and Schering-Plough Corporation today announced that their Boards of Directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Merck and Schering-Plough will combine, under the name Merck, in a stock and cash transaction.

Under the terms of the agreement, Schering-Plough shareholders will receive 0.5767 shares and $10.50 in cash for each share of Schering-Plough. Each Merck share will automatically become a share of the combined company. Merck Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard T. Clark will lead the combined company.

Based on the closing price of Merck stock on March 6, 2009, the consideration to be received by Schering-Plough shareholders is valued at $23.61 per share, or $41.1 billion in the aggregate. This price represents a premium to Schering-Plough shareholders of approximately 34 percent based on the closing price of Schering-Plough stock on March 6, 2009. The consideration also represents a premium of approximately 44 per cent based on the average closing price of the two stocks over the last 30 trading days.

Upon closing of the transaction, Merck shareholders are expected to own approximately 68 per cent of the combined company, and Schering-Plough shareholders are expected to own approximately 32 per cent. Merck anticipates that the transaction will be modestly accretive to non-GAAP EPS1 in the first full year following completion and significantly accretive thereafter.

We are creating a strong, global healthcare leader built for sustainable growth and success, said Mr. Clark. The combined company will benefit from a formidable research and development pipeline, a significantly broader portfolio of medicines and an expanded presence in key international markets, particularly in high-growth emerging markets. The efficiencies we gain will allow us to invest in strategic opportunities, while creating meaningful value for shareholders.

We look forward to joining forces with an outstanding partner we know well and that shares our commitment to patients, employees and the communities where we work and live. Through their talent and dedication, Schering-Plough employees have built an industry leading R&D engine and late-stage pipeline that is complementary to our own. We are confident that, together, Merck and Schering-Plough will make a meaningful difference in the future of global healthcare, Mr. Clark added.

Fred Hassan, chairman and chief executive officer of Schering-Plough, said, Over the last six years, Schering-Plough colleagues have transformed our company into a strong competitor in the global pharmaceutical industry. We have built a strong, diverse business and a robust pipeline that offers hope to patients who are waiting for new medicines. I am proud of what we have accomplished. Our success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our colleagues in every country. We are joining forces with Merck, our long-term partner in our cholesterol joint venture, to create a dynamic new leader in the pharmaceutical industry. By harnessing the strengths of both companies, the combined entity will be well-positioned to further deliver on our shared goal of discovering new therapies for patients to help them live healthier, happier lives.

The talent and dedication of Schering-Plough scientists has helped to build an outstanding clinical development pipeline, said Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., Merck executive vice president, and president of Merck Research Laboratories. Schering-Plough's considerable biologics expertise will complement Merck's novel proprietary biologics platform and aligns with our commitment to build a powerful biologics presence. The Schering-Plough and Merck pipelines are remarkably complementary and will greatly increase our ability to deliver important new medicines to patients. I believe the combined pipeline will be the best in the industry, by far.

5m Editor