Taking a cue from the growing demand for animal care products, healthcare service providers and pharma companies are enhancing their offerings in that segment. The annual sales of medicines and medical devices for pets and livestock increased exponentially in the last few years, and the trend is expected to continue.
In one of the biggest deals the sector has witnessed in recent times, in terms of value, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. (MRK) has decided to invest $2.4 billion for acquiring the assets of Antelliq Group, a privately held manufacturer of identification products for companion animals and livestock.
By owning the unique product portfolio of Antelliq, which is specialized in digital systems that process information about animals and keep their owners updated, Merck expects to expand the market share of its animal health unit. The products are designed to help optimize disease prediction and treatment. The new business will enhance overall growth while creating additional value for Merck’s shareholders.
By acquiring Antelliq, which is specialized in digital systems that process information about animals, Merck expects to expand the market share of its animal health unit
However, the market seems to be skeptical about the prospects of the new venture. Merck’s shares lost about 2% in the premarket Friday and continued to fall in the early trading hours in a selloff that followed the announcement. The stock had hit a 10-year high earlier this month, after gaining 38% over the past twelve months.
“Antelliq’s people and products complement this portfolio by adding market-leading digital products, extending the range of solutions we can provide our customers and further driving the growth of our business,” said Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier.
After integration, Antelliq will operate as a standalone entity and as a wholly owned subsidiary under Merck Animal Health. The transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, includes the assumption of 1.2 billion euros in Antelliq’s debt. It is estimated that repayment of the debt will impact Merck’s second-quarter results.
The company’s animal health division generated sales of $1.02 billion in the third quarter, up 2% from last year. Total earnings increased 7.2% to $1.19 per share during the period, aided by higher revenues and the management’s aggressive efforts to reduce cost.
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