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Sanofi-aventis, Merck Appoint CEO for New JV

29 July 2010

GLOBAL - Sanofi-aventis and Merck have announced their intention to combine Merial with Intervet/Schering-Plough, to create a new global leader in Animal Health to be called Merial-Intervet. Raul Kohan has been appointed CEO of the new joint venture when it is approved by regulatory authorities and closes, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2011.

Sanofi-aventis and Merck & Co., Inc. have announced that Raul E. Kohan will be appointed Chief Executive Officer of their proposed Animal Health joint venture. Sanofi-aventis and Merck – known as MSD outside the United States and Canada – intend to combine Merial with Intervet/Schering-Plough, to create a new global leader in Animal Health to be called Merial-Intervet.

Mr Kohan is currently President of Intervet/Schering-Plough, Merck's Animal Health business. He will commence his new responsibilities when the new joint venture is approved by regulatory authorities and closes, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2011. The formation of this new animal health joint venture is subject to execution of final agreements, antitrust review in the United States, Europe and other countries, as well as other customary closing conditions.

Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofi-aventis, explained: "Raul Kohan will head this new leader in Animal Health. The talents, products and expertise of both companies are very complementary and will create a company with greater geographical and market coverage. As a result, we expect the new Merial-Intervet joint venture to drive significant growth."

Richard T. Clark, Merck Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Raul brings a wealth of animal health and global pharmaceutical industry experience. We're pleased that Raul will lead the integration of the two companies while continuing to deliver global growth momentum. The new joint venture will have one of the broadest portfolios of animal health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics to meet the needs of millions of customers."

Raul Kohan is Executive Vice President and President, Global Animal Health, Merck. He joined Schering-Plough in 1984 and has since held positions of increasing responsibility. He served as Deputy Head of Animal Health and Senior Vice President, Corporate Excellence and Administrative Services for Schering-Plough Corporation. Previously, Mr Kohan's responsibilities included overseeing the company's Global Specialty Operations group, which comprised Animal Health and Consumer Health Care for Schering-Plough. He graduated from the General San Martin Military Academy, Argentina, and holds an MBA degree in economics from the University of Buenos Aires.

José Barella, the current Executive Chairman of Merial, will continue his role until the transaction closes. Thus, he will work closely with Mr Kohan and will contribute significantly to the transition and creation of the new combined Animal Health business. Mr Barella joined Merial in 2001 and became Chief Operating Officer in 2005 and head of business operations with responsibilities for all commercial activities for Merial globally, including sales and marketing for both the companion animal and production animal businesses, and the commercial functions that support them. He was named Merial's Executive Chairman in 2007 with responsibility for executing global strategy and through his leadership grew the company to be an industry leader.

The new Merial-Intervet joint venture will offer a broader portfolio of animal health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics, as well as, the ability to capitalize on growth opportunities in all fields and countries around the world.

The worldwide animal health market reached US$19 billion in 2008. Products for companion animals accounted for 40 per cent of total sales while products for production animals accounted for the remaining 60 per cent of total sales. This market is expected to grow at around five per cent per year over the next five years, driven by a growing demand for animal proteins, as well as a strong consumer needs for companion animal health care.

Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough will continue to operate independently until the closing of the transaction.

ThePoultrySite News Desk





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