Acquisition of Elanco’s Aqua Business by Merck Animal Health

Merck Animal Health, operating as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), headquartered in Rahway, N.J., USA, has officially entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Elanco Animal Health Incorporated’s (NYSE: ELAN) aqua business for $1.3 billion in cash. This strategic acquisition encompasses an innovative portfolio comprising medicines, vaccines, nutritionals, and supplements tailored for aquatic species. The deal also includes two aqua manufacturing facilities in Canada and Vietnam, along with a research facility in Chile. The anticipated completion date for this acquisition is mid-year 2024, contingent upon approvals from regulatory authorities and fulfillment of customary closing conditions.

Upon successful closure, the acquisition will significantly enhance Merck Animal Health’s aqua portfolio, featuring products like CLYNAV®, a cutting-edge DNA-based vaccine safeguarding Atlantic salmon from pancreas disease, and IMVIXA®, an anti-parasitic sea lice treatment. The transaction also brings forth a portfolio of water treatment products designed for warm water production, complementing Merck Animal Health’s existing warm water vaccine portfolio. Beyond these products, the DNA-based vaccine technology embedded in the business has the potential to expedite the development of novel vaccines to address unmet needs within the aqua industry.

Rick DeLuca, President of Merck Animal Health, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, emphasizing the value of Elanco’s aqua products, solutions, and the expertise the team brings to their business. DeLuca believes that coupled with Merck Animal Health’s commercial and scientific capabilities, this acquisition will offer enhanced benefits to their aqua customers, establishing the company as a leader in the aqua sector.

Elanco Animal Health’s President and CEO, Jeff Simmons, expressed confidence in Merck Animal Health as the strategic buyer for the aquaculture business, anticipating continued value delivery to aqua customers and growth opportunities for their team. Simmons acknowledged the dedication of Elanco’s aqua organization to customer satisfaction and the broader mission of enriching lives with animal protein.

This acquisition marks the latest addition to Merck Animal Health’s series of strategic acquisitions in the aqua business. Previous acquisitions include Scan Aqua AS in March 2019, a Norwegian company specializing in fish health and fish welfare, Antelliq Corporation in April 2019, which included BIOMARK for passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging and tracking technology, and Vaki in December 2019, a leader in aquaculture and wild fish conservation monitoring equipment and real-time video monitoring technology for fish counting and size estimation across different rearing environments, with comprehensive data collection and analytics throughout each stage of fish production.

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