Bayer Lands Merck Consumer As Springboard to Lead Global OTC Industry
This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
The $14.2 billion deal is “a major milestone on our path toward global leadership” in OTC sales, says Bayer Chairman Marijn Dekkers. The acquisition focuses on expanding international sales of Merck products including the Claritin allergy, Coppertone sunscreen and MiraLax constipation lines.
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Bayer acquired its second Chinese consumer health care firm to gain market share amid the country’s OTC consolidation trend. Dihon specializes in antifungal creams and herbal drugs for women’s and traditional Chinese medicines.
Merck executives shift their position about the potential divestiture of its non-pharma assets, including the consumer health business. J.P. Morgan analysts expect a sale of the consumer unit, and say Merck’s brands including Claritin and Coppertone could grow globally with a new owner.
Chairman Marijn Dekkers says the German company believes strong organic growth and consumer health pick-ups will help Bayer become the world leader in OTCs.