Merial, Intervet/Schering-Plough call off merger

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Mar 23, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Whitehouse Station, N.J. -- A merger announced last spring by Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has been scrapped, according to a March 22 statement from both companies.

“Since the initial announcement … both companies have worked diligently to create the proposed animal health venture, including submitting requests for the required antitrust reviews,” says Paul Geurts, Intervet International’s media relations manager. “The companies are discontinuing their agreement, primarily because of the increasing complexity of the proposed transaction, both in terms of the nature and extent of the anticipated divestitures and the length of time necessary for the worldwide regulatory review process.”

Merial’s parent company, Sanofi-aventis, will continue to develop its animal health brand, as will Merck’s Intervet/Schering-Plough. Both companies will continue to operate independently, says Geurts.

The joint venture would have made the combined Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough business the largest stakeholder in the $20 billion animal-health industry. Currently, Intervet/Schering Plough is ranked the second biggest player in the industry with annual sales of about $2.9 billion in 2010, and Merial is ranked third with about $2.6 billion in annual sales, according to a press release.