Merck & Co. keen on small acquisitions

Merck & Co. keen on small acquisitions

Merck & Co. keen on small acquisitions
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK.N) is keen to acquire small and medium-sized companies to propel its growth, particularly in vaccine development, but is not pursuing a "mega merger," a company executive said on Sunday.

Stefan Oschmann, Merck's president for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada, said the U.S. drugmaker was interested in expanding its portfolio with the purchase of biotechnology firms with late-stage products or mid-sized pharmaceutical companies with promising research platforms.

He told a small group of journalists in Geneva that large-scale consolidation was likely not in Merck's interest, especially given that market valuations of companies in the sector are so high.

"Mega mergers have in most cases not delivered what they had promised," Oschmann said. "We don't necessarily think that a mega merger is the right thing."

Merck signed 35 acquisition and partnership deals in 2006. Oschmann said Merck, ranked seventh in the industry for sales last year, is investing heavily in developing an HIV vaccine and sees large promise in its HPV vaccine Gardasil for cervical cancer prevention.

Boutique executive search services with best in class global network, contacts and market mastery.

Deeply connected and engaged personal service approach, long-term investment in client community and 25 year history of strong relations with both Multi-National leaders and Private Equity partners.