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Merck KGaA Completes $17B Sigma-Aldrich Acquisition

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Germany's Merck KGaA today announced the completion of its $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, following approval from the European Commission.

The deal creates a science sector giant that will "cover every step of the biotech production chain," Merck said in a statement. The company will have around 50,000 employees in 67 countries, working at 72 manufacturing sites worldwide, with combined pro forma full-year life science sales of €4.6 billion in 2014 and expected sales between €12.6 billion and €12.8 billion in 2015.

Merck plans to integrate Sigma-Aldrich with its EMD Millipore business (known as Merck Millipore outside the US and Canada), which it acquired in 2010, to create a new business known as MilliporeSigma in the US and Canada.

"This is a significant milestone in our long-term strategy to invest in life science," Bernd Reckmann, member of the Executive Board in charge of Life Science and Performance Materials businesses, said in a statement. "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."

Sigma-Aldrich's SAFC Commercial business, excluding the SAFC Hitech business, will become part of Merck's Life Science business. The SAFC Hitech business will be integrated into the Performance Materials business and will operate as part of its Integrated Circuits business unit. SAFC Hitech and the company's Performance Materials businesses offer complementary technologies, making them a natural fit for each other, the firm said.

Merck announced plans to buy Sigma-Aldrich in September 2014 for $140 per share.