Animal pharma firm Merial formally joins Boehringer

Boehringer Ingelheim, whose headquarters at Ingelheim, Germany is shown here, has formally brought animal health rival Merial into its own animal health business effective Jan. 1. (

Global pharma giants Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim have formally sealed their deal to merge Sanofi’s global animal health business, Merial, into Boehringer’s.

The two companies last week announced their deal has “successfully closed in most markets” as of Jan. 1. Paris-based Sanofi will get Boehringer’s global consumer health care business plus 4.7 billion euros (C$6.6 billion) in return for Merial.

Merial, which maintains a Canadian office in Montreal, sells over 60 products in the Canadian market including cattle and swine parasite control Ivomec and horse dewormer Eqvalan.

Merial’s product lines also include pain controls, vaccines and disinfectants for the cattle, hog, poultry and horse sectors and pharmaceuticals for companion animals, wildlife and the veterinary public health sector. Worldwide, the company has a enterprise value of about 11.4 billion euros (C$16 billion), staff of about 6,900 people and operations in over 150 countries.

Boehringer’s own animal health business in Canada includes various vaccines and drugs for cattle, hogs, horses, poultry and companion animals, among them anti-parasiticide Cydectin, anti-inflammatory drug Metacam and Equitop supplements for horses.

The closing of Boehringer’s acquisition of Merial in Mexico and of the asset swap in India have been delayed, pending “certain regulatory approvals,” but both of those deals are expected to close early this year, the companies said.

The two companies also agreed to exclude Boehringer’s consumer health care business in China from the deal, when they entered talks toward a possible asset swap in late 2015. The two firms’ talks led to a definitive agreement in July 2016.

The companies said at the time they expect a merger of Merial into Boehringer — the fourth- and sixth-biggest players worldwide in animal health respectively in 2015 — to create the second largest player, behind New Jersey-based Zoetis.

The combined animal health firm, they said, would have pro forma 2015 sales of about 3.8 billion euros (C$5.3 billion) and “the ability to compete for global market leadership.” It would also be the top firm in both the equine health and swine health sectors.

Joachim Hasenmaier, the member of Boehringer’s board of managing directors with responsibility for animal health, will continue to lead the combined Boehringer/Merial animal health business unit.

Coming out of talks with the European Commission seeking approval for their merger, Boehringer and Merial in October also set up a put option agreement to sell certain animal vaccine and pharmaceutical lines to France’s Ceva Sante Animale for an undisclosed sum.

Brands now going to Ceva include Progressis, Mucosiffa, Parvovax and Parvoruvax. Ketofen, a Merial anti-inflammatory, also goes to Ceva — except in Canada. Merial’s Circovac and Equioxx brands are also included, except in the U.S.

The sale to Ceva, the No. 8 animal health firm, doesn’t include any manufacturing sites for the affected products, the companies said, adding the deal “will be implemented by means of a transfer of all relevant assets.” –– Network

About the author


Stories from our other publications