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Home Industry News Bayer’s Schering AG buyout ‘may be thrown off by Merck KGaA’

Bayer’s Schering AG buyout ‘may be thrown off by Merck KGaA’

9th June 2006

Bayer’s attempts to close the acquisition of Schering AG may have been hampered by Merck KGaA’s decision to increase its holding in Schering AG, despite it having withdrawn from the bidding to buy the company after a failed hostile takeover bid.

Merck’s holding in Schering AG now stands at 10.1, according to the Financial Times. One source told the newspaper: “The added question is whether Merck just wants to make a nuisance of itself or whether it’s looking at the ‘suicide option’ of blocking the deal.”

Bayer’s Klaus Kuhn, head of its finance division and operations in Europe, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “We must adjust ourselves to the fact that Merck might not tender their shares.”

A Merck spokesperson added to the same newspaper: “The offer runs out shortly, therefore we will not comment.”

Originally, Bayer had the offer period for Schering AG shareholders to accept the bid marked as the end of May, but recently had to extend the offer by two weeks. Schering’s board had earlier rejected Merck’s hostile takeover as unwelcome and undervaluing the company. It also recommended the Bayer offer to its shareholders, of whom 75 per cent must agree to send the acquisition bid through.

According to AFX, 40.19 per cent of Schering AG stockholders have so approved the merger. Merck now has enough of a stake in Schering that it could, theoretically, block any attempt to de-list Schering AG if Bayer is successful in its acquisition.

track© Adfero Ltd

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