Merck Animal Health and privately held Antelliq Group announced on Dec. 14 that the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Antelliq from funds advised by BC Partners. Antelliq will be a wholly owned and separately operated subsidiary within the Merck Animal Health Division. Merck will make a cash payment of approximately 2.1 billion euros to acquire all outstanding shares of Antelliq and will assume Antelliq’s debt of 1.15 billion euros, which it intends to repay shortly after the closing of the acquisition.
Antelliq is a leader in digital animal identification, traceability and monitoring solutions, the fastest growing part of the animal health industry, with 360 million euros in sales in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2018. These solutions help veterinarians, farmers and pet owners gather critical data to improve management, health and well-being of livestock and pets.
The increasing use of digital technology in animal agriculture is driven by the growing demand for protein, food traceability and food safety. Identification and monitoring technologies will help optimize disease prediction and treatment and this acquisition will provide Merck Animal Health with a large, established customer base in both areas.
“Merck Animal Health is a leader in the animal health business and has delivered consistent above-market growth driven by a broad portfolio of innovative pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other value-added technologies and services. Antelliq’s people and products complement this portfolio by adding market-leading digital products, extending the range of solutions we can provide our customers and further driving the growth of our business,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “This acquisition is well aligned with our strategy to generate long-term growth and sustainable value for our customers and shareholders.”
“Merck has a strong and growing animal health business, and we are delighted that our superior offering of technology, products and services, as well as our global relationships, together with Merck, will bring additional value to our customers,” said Stefan Weiskopf, DVM, chief executive officer, Antelliq. “With more than 60 years of experience, we are constantly re-imagining animal care to improve the quality of life for animals and for the people who care for them.”
With its extensive suite of digitally connected identification and monitoring products, Antelliq is uniquely positioned to support the needs of farmers and veterinarians. These products allow access to real-time, actionable information to help improve livestock management and health outcomes. In addition, Antelliq offers pet owners digitally connected products to help them enhance their pets’ quality of life.
“The animal health industry is rapidly evolving with revolutionary digital solutions to manage the health and well-being of livestock and companion animals,” said Rick DeLuca, president, Merck Animal Health. “Animal identification, animal monitoring and smart data management are critical components of this transformative technology. This acquisition represents yet another way that we will ensure our place as a leader in animal health, with a substantial and sustainable position, including the most innovative, technological solutions to serve our customers. Through our commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals, we are dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals.”
Jean-Baptiste Wautier, chairman of Antelliq and partner at BC Partners commented, “Antelliq is a unique business which played a pivotal role in driving forward the convergence of the animal intelligence and animal health industries globally. We are proud of the transformation of the company that we initiated together with a fantastic leadership team over the past five years and believe that Merck is an ideal partner for Antelliq to support the next stage of its growth. As a truly innovative market leader with a clear vision and dynamic team, Antelliq has significant potential to continue leading the industry, as the use of intelligence, data and technology play an increasingly important role in animal health and care.”
The closing of the transaction is subject to clearance by antitrust and competition law authorities and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019. Merck was represented by Barclays and Centerview Partners and Antelliq was represented by Goldman Sachs International and Rothschild & Co.
Merck Animal Health is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.