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Merck & Co. (MRK) Sells Unit to Bayer for $14.2 Billion

By: , dated May 6th, 2014

Shares of Merck & Company (MRK) were trading up +0.37 or +0.63 percent to $59.00 per share in pre-market trading, after the company announced earlier this morning that it would sell its consumer care unit to German pharmaceutical giant, Bayer AG for $14.2 billion. Merck stock closed at $58.63 per share, up +0.41 or +0.70 percent in Mondayâ s regular trading session. Whitehouse Station, New Jersey based Merck & Co. is one of the worldâ s largest pharmaceutical companies. Founded as a subsidiary of German company, Merck KGaA in 1891, the company began operations as an independent company in 1917. The companyâ s best known products include, Propecia/Proscar, Gardasil, Singulair and Vioxx to name only a few. The sale of Merckâ s consumer care business will make Bayer AG a major player in over the counter products, giving the company control of some of Merckâ s better known brand names, such as Dr. Schollâ s and Coppertone. The deal includes all of Merckâ s OTC business and the global trademark and prescription rights for Afrin and Claritin. In addition to the sale of the consumer care business, the two companies also announced a global clinical development collaboration to market Bayerâ s portfolio of soluble guanylate cyclase modulators, including Bayerâ s Adempas (riociguat) for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Costs and profits from the collaboration will be divided equally with both companies implementing a joint development and commercialization effort. The deal will have Merck pay Bayer $1 billion up front for the broad collaboration rights, followed by subsequent payments of as much as $1.1 billion for sales milestones. Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer at Merck said in a statement that, â

Jay Hawk Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

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