Merck Animal Health to acquire Elanco Animal Health’s aquatic-focused business for USD 1.3 billion

A Merck sign on a building.

Merck Animal Health, a medical company with a focus on veterinary pharmaceuticals, has signed an agreement to acquire the aquatic-focused business of Elanco Animal Health for USD 1.3 billion (EUR 1.2 billion) in cash.

Merck Animal Health said the deal includes all of Elanco’s portfolio of medicines, vaccines, nutritionals, and supplements for aquatic species, two related manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Canada, and a related research facility in Chile. The acquisition is expected to be completed some time by mid-2024, subject to regulatory approvals, Merck said.

“We are excited for the acquisition of Elanco’s aqua products, solutions, as well as the capabilities and expertise the team brings to our business,” Merck Animal Health President Rick DeLuca said in a release. “We believe this acquisition, coupled with our commercial and scientific prowess, will deliver enhanced benefits for our aqua customers.”

Included in the acquisition are a portfolio of products that includes CLYNAV a DNA-based vaccine for Atlantic salmon aquaculture operations that protects against pancreatic disease and IMVIXA an anti-parasitic sea lice treatment. It also comes with other treatment products for “warmwater production,” Merck said. 

Following a robust process over the last year, Merck Animal Health emerged as the right strategic buyer for the aquaculture business,” Elanco Animal Health President and CEO Jeff Simmons said. “I am confident they will continue to deliver value to the aqua customers who rely on these products and create opportunities for our team to continue to grow.”

Merck also said that the latest acquisition continues its focus into aquaculture-based pharmaceuticals. In March 2019, the company acquired Scan Aqua, a fish health and welfare company based in Norway. A month later, in April 2019, it acquired Antelliq Corporation, which produces tagging and tracking technology for monitoring fish and wildlife. Then, in December 2019, it acquired Vaki, a company that developed aquaculture and wild fish conservation monitoring equipment and real-time video monitoring technology for fish counting and size estimation.

Goldman Sachs acted as the financial advisor to Merck Animal Health for the transaction, while Covington & Burling acted as the legal advisor.

“The addition of this innovative portfolio of coldwater and warmwater aqua products across vaccines, anti-parasitic treatments, water supplements, and nutrition will establish Merck Animal Health as a leader in aqua,” DeLuca said.  

Photo courtesy of Tada Images/Shutterstock


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