Leverkusen, Germany – July 19, 2004 – Bayer announced today that it has agreed to acquire Roche Consumer Health. By acquiring this business, it says it will become one of the top three over-the-counter (OTC) consumer health companies worldwide. Additionally, it will acquire Roche’s 50% of the 1997 Bayer/Roche joint venture in the US, (an element not included in Roche’s original offering) and five Roche production sites in Germany, France, Argentina, Morocco and Indonesia. The OTC business of the Japanese company Chugai, in which Roche has a majority stake, is not included. Bayer says the acquired business has yearly sales of around EUR 1 billion. The EUR 2.380 billion transaction is subject to approval by relevant antitrust authorities.
“It is our intention to further strengthen Bayer’s OTC business to become world leader, and with this acquisition we make another large step towards this goal,” says Werner Wenning, chairman of the board of management of Bayer AG.
The combined company will have sales of EUR 2.4 billion and 6,700 employees in 120 countries. It will be headed by Gary Balkema, currently president of Bayer HealthCare’s global consumer care division, and have its global headquarters in Morristown, NJ. The European headquarters will be in Switzerland in the Basel area. Research and development for the new organization will be situated at Bayer Consumer Care headquarters in Morristown and at the Roche Consumer Health site in Gaillard, France.