Sanofi-Aventis SA and Merck & Co. have plans to sell $1 billion in animal-health assets, according to reports.

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The two companies hope that this move will allow them to resolve antitrust concerns and complete the joint venture they set out on when they agreed to combine their veterinary-medicine businesses this year. The venture, which creates the world's largest animal-health business, will reach annual sales of roughly $5.3 billion before any divestments, said Chris Viehbacher, Sanofi's CEO.