Merck sells consumer healthcare unit to P&G

Germany’s Merck is selling its consumer health unit to Procter & Gamble for around for €3.4 billion.

Stefan Oschmann, chairman of the executive board and Merck’s chief executive, said the move is a demonstration of the company’s continued commitment to actively shape its portfolio as a leading science and technology company.

“Consumer Health is a strong business that deserves the best possible opportunities for its future development”, said Oschmann. “With P&G we have found a strong, highly recognised player who has the necessary scale to successfully drive the business going forward.”

Merck said sales from its consumer health unit grew organically by 6% between 2015 and 2017. The business attracted new sales of around $911 million last year.

“We like the steady, broad-based growth of the OTC healthcare market and are pleased to add Merck’s Consumer Health portfolio and people to the P&G family,” commented David Taylor, P&G Chairman of the board, president and chief executive.

The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter 2018, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. As part of the transaction, around 3,300 employees are expected to transition to P&G, subject to prior works council consultation where required.