Global pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck KGaA and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. (CDR), a leading global private equity firm, have entered into a stock purchase agreement whereby a fund managed by CDR will buy 100 percent of Merck’s laboratory distribution business, VWR International, for US$1.68 billion. Coudert Brothers LLP is representing long-time client Merck in this transaction.
The agreement is subject to regulatory approval and closing of the transaction will take place as soon as all necessary approvals have been granted.
The Coudert Brothers team advising on the deal consists of expertise drawn from multiple geographies in the Firm, including attorneys in the New York, Washington DC, Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt offices. New York counsel Edwin S. Matthews Jr. and partners James C. Colihan and Jeffrey E. Cohen lead the effort.
The worldwide team assisting them includes New York partners Eliab S. Erulkar, Gerald V. Hannon, Robert E. Hanlon, Darrell Prescott, Richard R. Reilly and Charles H. Wagner; Brussels partners Bertold Bär-Bouyssière and Pierre-Manuel Louis; Washington partner Kay C. Georgi; New York counsel Walter Scott; New York associates James D. Bailey, Sofie Bielen, Julio A. Castro, Joseph J. Cerise, Arie Heijkoop Jr., Bayne C. Johnston, Lidia M. Kidane, Andrea G. Lauletta, Gregory A. Manter, Dane Peacock, Jeffrey E. Ross, Virginia F. Tent, Eileen C. Visco, Lily J. Wound; Paris associates Monique Béguiachvili and Jennifer Carrel; and Brussels associate Timothy J. Jordan.
Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. is financial adviser to Merck for this transaction.
With 5,880 employees and annual sales of approximately US$2.7 billion, West Chester, Pennsylvania-based VWR is one of the world’s leading distributors of laboratory products. VWR’s 750,000 products range from test tubes to fully equipped laboratory clean rooms and biologic materials for drug development.
Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR7.2 billion, a history that began in 1668, and 34,200 employees in 53 countries. Merck’s operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds a 74 percent interest and free shareholders own the remaining 26 percent. The former U.S. subsidiary, Merck & Co., has been completely independent of the Merck Group since 1917. For more information, visit www.merck.de.