Merck acquires Antelliq for $2.37B to bolster animal health business

Keniworth-based Merck announced Friday it plans to acquire Antelliq, a French company that provides digital animal identification for livestock, for about 2.1 billion euros ($2.37 billion) to bolster its animal health business.

Under terms of the deal, Antelliq will become a wholly-owned and separately operated subsidiary within Merck’s Animal Health division. Merck will also assume 1.15 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of Antelliq’s debt, which it said it will repay shortly after the deal has closed in the second quarter of 2019.

“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,” Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck, said. “This acquisition is well aligned with our strategy to generate long-term growth and sustainable value for our customers and shareholders.”

Antelliq’s solutions, which help veterinarians, farmers and pet owners gather data to improve the health and well-being of livestock and pets, brought in 360 million euros ($406.64 million) in sales for the year ending on Sept. 30.

“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,” Stefan Weiskopf, CEO, Antelliq, said. “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.”

Merck said Antelliq’s solutions help optimize disease prediction and treatment as well as improve livestock management and health outcomes. Antelliq also offers pet owners digitally-connected products to enhance their pets quality of life, Merck said.

“The animal health industry is rapidly evolving with revolutionary digital solutions to manage the health and well-being of livestock and companion animals,” Rick DeLuca, president, Merck Animal Health, said. “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.”

Merck acquired Antelliq from funds advised by BC Partners, which owns a majority stake in Antelliq, it said.

Barclays and Centerview Partners represented Merck in the transaction. Goldman Sachs International and Rothschild & Co. represented Antelliq.