Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) today announced that they have received clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Swiss Competition Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau for their proposed merger.
The companies said that the FTC terminated the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and cleared the pending merger. The companies also stated that the Canadian Competition Bureau terminated the waiting period under the Canadian Competition Act and cleared the proposed transaction.
"Clearances from the FTC, the Swiss Competition Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau mark significant steps in the completion of our merger with Schering-Plough,” said Richard T. Clark, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck. "As we work with regulators on the remaining approvals necessary for the close, we stand ready to serve patient needs as a new global healthcare leader."
The transaction remains subject to approval from other regulators, including China and Mexico. Merck and Schering-Plough continue to expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit www.merck.com.
Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription, animal health and consumer health care products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is www.schering-plough.com.
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the proposed merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s and Schering-Plough’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the proposed merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period, due to, among other things, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry; the ability to obtain governmental and self-regulatory organization approvals of the merger on the proposed terms and schedule; the failure to obtain the financing required for the merger; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the possibility that the merger does not close, including, but not limited to, due to the failure to satisfy the closing conditions; Merck’s and Schering-Plough’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s and Schering-Plough’s patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions. Merck and Schering-Plough undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Schering-Plough’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2009, the proxy statement filed by Merck on June 25, 2009 and each company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).
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