Lab Canada

$17B takeover of Sigma-Aldrich boosts Merck’s presence in life sciences

Darmstadt, Germany – Pharmaceutical and chemical giant Merck KGaA says it has completed a $17-billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich that will further its presence in the life sciences market.


The completion follows last week’s approval from the European Commission, which was the final antitrust condition required to close the Sigma-Aldrich transaction. Following the acquisition, Merck says it will have around 50,000 employees in 67 countries, working at 72 manufacturing sites worldwide. Combined pro forma full-year life science sales amounted to €4.6 billion in 2014. As announced on publication of the results for the third quarter of 2015 on November 12, the company expects sales to amount to between €12.6 billion and €12.8 billion in 2015.


Merck has made acquisitions and divestments totalling €38 billion in the past decade, and now is comprised of three businesses in healthcare, life science and performance materials. With the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, the company will include brands such as SAFC and BioReliance, in addition to Millipore and Milli-Q, as well a supply chain that supports the delivery of more than 300,000 products. The company says it will cover every step of the biotech production chain, creating a complete end-to-end workflow.


“This is a significant milestone in our long-term strategy to invest in life science,” said Bernd Reckmann, member of the executive board in charge of the company’s Life Science and Performance Materials business sectors. “The acquisition of Millipore in 2010 was the first major step in that journey and with the completion of the Sigma-Aldrich acquisition, we will take a quantum leap toward securing our competitive position in that space.”


To ensure a smooth integration, Merck has integration planning underway for the new business, which will be named “MilliporeSigma” in the U.S. and Canada. The future organization will tap into the industry-leading talent of both legacy organizations, with a focus on promoting customer centricity, continuous innovation and strengthened capabilities.


“With the acquisition complete, we can now start tackling the challenge of solving the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community and helping to increase access to healthcare. We are excited to begin leveraging the proven operational excellence of our organizations to provide a growing customer base with more efficient and innovative solutions,” said Udit Batra, president and CEO of the company’s life science business. “We’ve designed the new organization to fully tap into our combined capabilities, particularly in integrated supply chain operations, information technology and e-commerce.”