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Merck does not want to sell $1 billion consumer health business

Staff writer |
Merck KGaA plans to keep hold of its consumer healthcare unit, pledging to develop a business that is expected to generate 2014 sales of $1 billion.

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The non-prescription market has seen a wave of consolidation this year but the family-controlled company says it has no intention of quitting.

"We really want to stick to that business. Our strategy is a pure growth strategy and by the end of this year we will hopefully hit the $1 billion sales mark," Uta Kemmerich-Keil, chief executive of Merck Consumer Health, said during a media briefing in London.

Kemmerich-Keil said she aimed to have at least three leading brands with a minimum 3 percent market share in key target countries, which include a number of emerging markets, like Brazil, where demand for self-medication is growing strongly.

While securing strong positions in local markets could involve small bolt-on acquisitions or licensing deals, she sees no need for large-scale acquisitions.

"OTC is a local play, so you need to make sure in the markets you are in that you are strong .It's not important how big the overall business is."

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