MUMBAI: Global consumer products major, The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), will acquire a nearly 52% stake in drug firm Merck India for Rs 1,300 crore as part of a global deal under which it will take over the international consumer health business of Germany’s Merck KGaA. According to a public announcement, Procter & Gamble Overseas India BV along with P&G will make a mandatory offer to acquire 26% from public shareholders for up to Rs 648 crore, taking the total cost of acquisition in India to Rs 1,948 crore.
The offer is made at a price of Rs 1,500, which is at a 16% discount to Merck’s closing price of Rs 1,792 on the BSE on Thursday. After the global announcement, Merck’s stock jumped nearly 19%.
After the transaction, the Rs 1,119-crore Merck will become the fourth legal entity in India for the Cincinnati-based P&G. The current three companies in India that represent P&G are Procter & Gamble Hygiene And Health Care (PGHH), in which the promoter group holds about 70%, Procter & Gamble Home Products (PGHP), a wholly owned subsidiary, and Gillette India, in which it has 75% shareholding. The P&G Group has a combined turnover of over $1.5 billion in India and is present in laundry, feminine hygiene, cold relief products, hair care, shaving products and diapers.
The global all-cash deal of about 3.4 billion euros will add vitamins and food supplements to P&G’s lineup of overthe-counter (OTC) products. Merck’s consumer health unit includes brands such as Femibion, Neurobion, Nasivin and Seven Seas. Edelweiss Securities senior VP (institutional equities – research) Abneesh Roy said the move will help P&G in scaling up distribution at chemist shops in India, as it will now have a wider portfolio of OTC brands.
A P&G India spokesperson said it is too early to comment on future plans. As part of the transaction, approximately 3,300 employees globally, mainly from consumer health, will transition to P&G.