Photo: Taina Sohlman /
6 May 2014Americas

Bayer buys Merck’s consumer care arm for $14.2bn

Bayer AG has agreed to buy New Jersey-based Merck’s consumer care business for $14.2 billion, the companies announced today (May 6).

Under the agreement, Bayer will acquire Merck’s existing over-the-counter business, which includes the global trademark and prescription rights for allergy medicine Claritin and nasal congestion spray Afrin.

The $14.2 billion figure includes a payment associated with sales of the two products in countries where they are still prescription only.

Merck’s consumer care business also includes the Coppertone sunscreen and Dr. Scholl’s footcare brands.

Bayer’s chief executive Marijn Dekkers said: “This acquisition marks a major milestone on our path towards global leadership in the attractive non-prescription medicines business”.

Kenneth Frazier, Merck’s chairman and chief executive, said: “The sale of our consumer care business is part of our efforts to ensure that assets within our portfolio align with our core strategy, have industry-leading potential and generate long-term shareholder value.”

As part of the companies’ deal, Merck will pay Bayer $1 billion upfront to market and develop its portfolio of soluble guanylate cyclase modulator products, which includes Bayer’s Adempas (riociguat).

Adempas was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of two forms of pulmonary hypertension last October.

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