Merck considers sale of consumer health business
"We expect increasing internal constraints to fund the business to reach the required scale. Fully anticipating this, we are preparing strategic options," Belen Garijo, chief executive of the healthcare business, said in a statement.
"Any possible proceeds from a potential transaction would be used to deliver on the company’s overall financial targets."
Merck said it would consider a full or partial sale of the consumer health business as well as strategic partnerships, adding that the review process was in an early stage with no final decision taken.
Merck, which traces its roots to a 17th century pharmacy, is focusing on its pharmaceuticals unit, where it is pinning growth hopes on cancer immunotherapy treatment Bavencio and multiple sclerosis pill Mavenclad after a string of setbacks.
It has also built a global biotech laboratory supplies business with takeovers of Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich in 2010 and 2016. ■