Annual General Meeting of Merck KGaA: Shareholders Approve Dividend of € 1.50 per Share

Merck KGaAShareholders of Merck KGaA approved a dividend of € 1.50 per share for 2008 at the company's Annual General Meeting held at the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt. This corresponds to an increase of 25% over the previous year (2007: € 1.20 plus a special dividend) and a total payout of about €°326°million (based on the theoretical number of shares). In addition, the Annual General Meeting approved the actions of the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board for fiscal 2008 and overwhelmingly approved all resolutions. Dr. Wolfgang Büchele and Dr. Hans-Jürgen Leuchs were elected to the Supervisory Board as of mid-year, replacing Dr. Arend Oetker and the out-going Chairman Professor Dr. Wilhelm Simson, who have stepped down as members of the Supervisory Board.

In his speech, the Chairman of the Executive Board, Dr. Karl-Ludwig Kley, reviewed 2008 and gave shareholders an outlook for the future: "For Merck, 2008 was a good year. Our business model is sound. We are diversified, operating in several businesses with different risk profiles. Balancing risk is essential for us and serves us well in these times." He continued: "The balance between the old and the new, between tradition and innovation, between Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals characterizes our long-term course. We want to make the company even more weather-resistant. Here we also want to establish new businesses in order to grow profitably over the long term. We know how to create new things without giving up what has worked well in the past."

About 1,000 shareholders took part in the Annual General Meeting. When the resolutions were voted on, around 38,195,220 shares were represented, corresponding to 59.1% of the share capital of around € 168 million. As of July 1, 2009, the Supervisory Board will consist of the following members: Dr. Mechthild Auge*, Johannes Baillou, Frank Binder, Dr. Wolfgang Büchele, Claudia Flauaus*, Michael Fletterich*, Edeltraud Glänzer*, Michaela Freifrau von Glenck, Frieder Kaufmann*, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Rolf Krebs, Dr. Hans-Jürgen Leuchs, Albrecht Merck, Dr. Karl-Heinz Scheider*, Prof. Dr. Theo Siegert, Osman Ulusoy*, Heiner Wilhelm*

(*employee representative)

The full version of Dr. Kleys speech is available online at:

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 7.6 billion in 2008, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 32,800 employees in 59 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.