Bayer plans to buy
The deal, announced Tuesday, would give Bayer control over popular household brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's. The pharmaceutical company would also seize the No. 2 spot in the world for nonprescription drugs.
"This acquisition marks a major milestone on our path towards global leadership in the attractive nonprescription medicines business," Bayer Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Bayer also said it had agreed to a strategic collaboration with Merck to develop and commercialize medications for cardiovascular diseases. As part of the deal, Merck will pay Bayer $1 billion upfront and as much as $1.1 billion for hitting sales milestones.
Bayer, combined with Merck's consumer health business, brought in sales of $7.4 billion in 2013, Bayer said. Once the two sides are fully integrated, the company expects annual cost savings of $200 million by 2017.
The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to close in the second half of 2014. Part of the purchase price includes a payment related to sales of Claritin and Afrin in countries where these medications are still prescription only.