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Foods – Nestlé focussed on OTC business from Merck News

Saturday, September 9th, 2017 | Economy

Nestlé and Merck had already spoken to each other before Merck officially launched the area with brands like Nasivin Nasivin, said three people familiar with the matter Reuters. According to two insiders, the two companies have negotiated a joint venture.
The talks were unsuccessful, however, because the structure of a joint venture – which the Swiss would have preferred in the absence of business experience – could not be agreed. Nestlé is also interested, as is the US pharmaceutical and consumer goods group Johnson & Johnson as well as the British consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser.
The companies mentioned did not wish to comment on this. Merck had announced on Tuesday to consider a full or partial sale of the business as well as strategic partnerships. By the beginning of 2018, a decision should be taken. A Merck spokesman said on Friday evening that the US investment bank JP Morgan advises the Group. According to two insiders, the US investment boutique Guggenheim is also in the boat. Merck and Guggenheim did not want to comment.
There have been rumors that Merck is going to separate itself from the business with its worldwide 3800 employees and a turnover of last 860 million euros. So far, the company had always officially dismissed. According to insiders, in recent months, the management has repeatedly exchanged with potential buyers. The talks with Nestlé were the most advanced, said one of the insiders. For several years now, the Merck management had repeatedly examined the interest of potential buyers, but was stopped by the Merck family behind the company.
Nestlé relies on promising health care
The new Nestlé CEO, Ulf Markschneider, who had previously led the German health group Fresenius, is expanding its core business to the promising health business. The areas in which the Group is already active – such as skin care products or health products for the elderly and sick – promise significantly higher growth rates than the saturated market for sweets.
Merck has recently focused strongly on the expansion of its life science business, which offers pharmaceutical research products, as well as its pharmaceuticals business with prescription drugs. In the business with free-market medicines, the group is one of the smaller players and according to its own data is just behind the ten largest providers.
According to one of the insiders, Merck is hoping for a prize of five billion euros, while others already consider four billion as too ambitious. The analysts of Bernstein calculate with a profit margin of 3.7 to 5.6 billion euros.


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