Merck Acquires Microbiology Business of Biotest AG

Merck KGaAMerck KGaA announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the microbiology business of Biotest AG, Dreieich, Germany. This business comprises heipha Dr. Müller GmbH, located in Eppelheim, Germany, as well as the Hycon business located in Dreieich, the subsidiaries in France, Japan and in the USA as well as further activities and employees in several European countries. In all, the business has approximately 290 employees and sales of approximately EUR 50 million in 2010. The agreement is subject to antitrust approvals in Germany and Austria. Closing of the transaction is expected in the second half of 2011.

The acquisition allows the Merck Millipore division to complete its product portfolio in the attractive growth segment industrial microbiology for contamination detection. Specifically, the business will add to Merck Millipore's existing dehydrated cell culture media and testing systems the so called "ready-to-use" culture media and instruments. The products are primarily used in the pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and personal-care industries.

"Due to increasing quality standards and regulatory scrutiny in combination with an increasing efficiency pressure in the relevant industries, the demand is shifting quickly to ready-to-use culture media and all-in-one solutions," said Klaus Bischoff, Head of the Lab Solutions business unit within Merck Millipore. "With the microbiology business of Biotest AG we acquire a business with a motivated, customer-oriented workforce, unique know-how and state-of-the-art production facilities in a strongly growing segment."

Prof. Dr. Gregor Schulz, President of the Board of Biotest AG, said: "With the disposal of the microbiology business Biotest continues to focus on its core business. I am strongly convinced that due to the strong strategic fit and the geographic proximity, Merck will be able to develop the business further and offer employees good perspectives for the future."

It is planned to integrate Biotest's microbiology activities into Merck Millipore's Lab Solutions business unit.

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of EUR 9.3 billion in 2010, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 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.