Merck joins in generics M&A
pharmaceuticals, Germany's Merck KGaA has entered the fray with an
agreement to acquire most of NM Pharma, the Scandinavian generics
business of top drugmaker Pfizer.
The announcement follows hard on the heels of an expansion in Scandinavia by rival generics firm Sandoz via the acquisition of AstraZeneca's Danish generics business, which itself came after a string of other acquisitions in Europe and elsewhere. Meanwhile, Teva has also been bolstering its coverage by buying Pfizer's generics business in Italy.
Merck is paying €53.8 million for Pfizer's Scandinavian generics business, which made sales of €39.1 million in 2003. The German company said that the acquisition would make its Merck Generics subsidiary the number one player in the Nordic generics market.
In 2003, the generics market in the Nordic countries was worth approximately €600 million with an annual growth rate of 9 per cent.
Merck will integrate the product portfolio into its existing Merck Generics infrastructure in Scandinavia, but because of strong NM brand recognition, the new company will operate under the name of Merck NM.