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Merck Animal Health to Acquire U.S. Rights to SENTINEL Brand of Combination Parasiticides for Companion Animals for ~$400M in Cash

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (NYSE: MRK), and Virbac (NYSE Euronext:VIRP) today announced that the companies have signed a definitive agreement unde

Benzinga · 05/13/2020 09:26

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (NYSE: MRK), and Virbac (NYSE Euronext:VIRP) today announced that the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Merck Animal Health would acquire the U.S. rights to SENTINEL® FLAVOR TABS® and SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® Chews in the Companion Animal category. Merck Animal Health will make a cash payment of approximately $400 million to acquire the SENTINEL branded products in the United States at closing of the acquisition.

Comprehensive parasite protection is an essential part of canine overall health and well-being. The BRAVECTO® product line, which are our extended duration flea and tick protection products, and the SENTINEL branded products, which control all common intestinal parasites, provide an attractive opportunity for broad-spectrum, year-round comprehensive internal and external parasite protection for dogs. These complementary products will cover the seven common, harmful parasites that affect dogs inside and out by preventing ticks and multiple stages of the flea lifecycle, including eggs and adult fleas, as well as treating and controlling all common intestinal parasites, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms and preventing heartworm disease.

"Veterinary medicines, including parasiticides, and vaccines have transformed the health of animals over the past decade," said Rick DeLuca, president, Merck Animal Health. "This product acquisition reinforces Merck Animal Health's commitment to our customers and our position in the United States Companion Animal category. We plan to use the extensive breadth and depth of our product portfolio, which includes BRAVECTO, a range of Companion Animal vaccines and the Sure Petcare portfolio of digital products, along with the SENTINEL branded products, to enhance our offerings of comprehensive pet care solutions. These products will provide a full range of complementary solutions for our customers to improve the health and well-being of animals and the people who care for them."

Scott Bormann, senior vice president, North America Commercial Operations, Merck Animal Health, said, "Our unconditional commitment to the veterinary community is steadfast as we offer a broad range of products and services to our customers. With this product acquisition, we expect to provide veterinarians with the most comprehensive and continuous parasite protection for dogs in easy to administer, palatable formulations. These products will target different parts of the flea lifecycle and will offer broad-spectrum, internal parasite protection in the SENTINEL brand and the extended duration flea and tick protection of BRAVECTO."

François Fournier, president and chief executive officer, Virbac United States, said, "These brands are well-known and trusted parasiticide products that should continue to provide value to both veterinary clinics and pet owners in the United States for years to come. We believe that Merck Animal Health is the right company, ideally positioned to keep developing these products in a sustainable manner."

The closing of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close by mid-year 2020.