Clinical Pathology Laboratory Customers of Millipore Not Likely to See Many Changes
It only took a few days for Millipore Corporation (NYSE: MIL) to find a buyer willing to outbid Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO). Millipore agreed to be acquired by Merck KGaA (FWB: MRK) of Darmstadt, Germany. Merck will pay about $7.2 billion for Millipore, which tops a reported bid of $6 billion made by Thermo Fisher last week.
Because many clinical pathology laboratories use Millipore’s water purification systems and other products, the pending acquisition of Millipore by Merck represents more consolidation among vendors serving the clinical laboratory industry. The acquisition is expected to close during the second half of 2010.
Based in Billerica, Massachusetts, Millipore had sales of $1.7 billion in 2009. It has 6,000 employees who work in 30 countries. Merck KGaA reported revenue of approximately US $10.3 billion for 2009. Merck employs 33,000 people in 61 countries.
It was February 23 when Bloomberg and other news outlets reported that Thermo Fisher had sent a purchase offer to Millipore’s Board of Directors. Neither company confirmed that fact, but Millipore did publicly acknowledge that it was approaching other buyers. (See Dark Daily, February 25, 2010: Thermo Fisher Offers $6 Billion to Acquire Millipore.)
Merck KGaA, founded in 1668, is not to be confused with Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK), the pharmaceutical firm based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Merck & Co. was once a business division of Merck KGaA, but, at the end of World War I, Merck KGaA lost its overseas businesses. In the United States and Canada, Merck & Co. holds the rights to the Merck name. That is why Merck KGaA operates in these countries under the name of EMD Chemicals. This name was coined from the initials of Emanuel Merck, Darmstadt.
Merck KGaA has announced that it will keep Millipore’s headquarters in Billerica, Massachusetts. It will also relocate management of its existing U.S. business divisions from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the Billerica location.