Merck Ltd says India consumer healthcare business to be part of global deal

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Merck Ltd on Tuesday said its consumer health business in India will also be involved in plans by its parent Merck KGaA to sell or enter into partnerships regarding the consumer health business globally.

The ultimate holding company of the firm, Merck KGaA, has announced that it is preparing for strategic options for its consumer health business globally, including full or partial sales of the business as well as strategic partnerships, Merck Ltd said in a BSE filing.

“This strategic initiative would involve the company’s consumer health business in India as well,” it added.

In India, under its consumer health business, the company sells a broad range of OTC (over-the-counter) products for the treatment of minor ailments. These include muscle, joint and back pain relief products and remedies for cold and headache besides pro-biotic food supplements, vitamin C and products with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, specially for women and children.

“The implementation of measure and their specific design are subject to further analysis and decision-making by competent bodies” the filing added.

Commenting on the global development, member of the executive board of Merck and CEO (healthcare) Belén Garijo said: “We expect increasing internal constraints to fund the business to reach the required scale. Fully anticipating this, we are preparing strategic options.”

Merck KGaA has well-recognised brands and products such as Bion, Femibion, Nasivin, Neurobion and Seven Seas in its consumer health product portfolio.

Shares of Merck Ltd on Tuesday closed 0.25% lower at Rs1,206.60 per scrip on BSE.