German pharmaceutical and chemical giant, Merck is planning an acquisition of the Turkish Vilsan Veterinary Pharmaceuticals, in a step to strengthen the former's presence in Turkey, a report in the Turkish language daily Habertürk claimed. The report confirmed that several meetings have been held between the two parties and the signing of a share transfer agreement was subject to an approval by Turkey's Competition Authority. Meanwhile, the Turkish authorities have also confirmed that Merck, which was launched almost 350 years ago in Germany, has tabled an offer to acquire Vilsan. Merck & Co., the U.S. subsidiary of the German giant, has made the necessary applications to the Competition Authority regarding the takeover.
If the deal goes ahead, Merck will be making its first investments in Turkey's animal health and food market and join a number of global players like India's Alivira, Kuwaiti finance company NBK and the U.S. investment fund, Riverside.
Merck closed the previous year with a turnover of more than 15 billion euros, with a sales figure of $10.3 billion in the third quarter, according to a recent report.
The company, traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, is expected to close this year with a sales revenue of around $40 billion. It employs more than 50,000 people in more than 70 countries.
The pharmaceuticals company started its operations in Turkey under the name of Merck İlaç Ecza ve Kimya Tic. A.Ş. in 1998 and employs some 250 people.
Vilsan, on the other hand, was founded in 1986. Over the years it has become one of Turkey's leading animal health companies. It exports products to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, Central Asia, Far East Asia and South America. In 2014, Vilsan was acquired by another local company, Vimar Animal Health. Led by Mustafa Baysan, Vimar was registered with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce in September 1995. Merck's acquisition talks are the latest in a series of recent mergers and acquisition deals in Turkey, following the sales of Kastaş Kağıt to European packaging giant Hamburger Recycling Group, and biletall.com's takeover by Abraaj Capital from the Gulf.