Consolidation in the Pharma industry continues unabated

As large assets swaps, mergers and acquisitions continue in the Pharma industry, Merck has announced it is selling its Consumer Care division to Bayer for $14B. The transaction will move Bayer into second place in consumer care, behind J&J. Merck will in turn will net about $8-9B in after-tax proceeds, and become more focused on innovative medicines. Speculation among analysts now turns to Merck’s animal health unit.

Industry-wide, several firms are pursuing a more consumer care-focused (and lower margin) diversified products business strategy, and others, the opposite. The recent flurry of transactions reflects that re-alignment of strategies.

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