Merck has announced that it will sell its half of Merial, a freestanding animal health company, to co-owner sanofi-aventis for $4 billion. Merck and sanofi-aventis formed Merial as a joint venture in 1997.
Earlier this year, Merck announced a merger with Schering-Plough, parent of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.
All the transactions are subject to review by antitrust authorities.
The other major merger in the animal health industry this year was between Pfizer and Wyeth, the latter of which is parent of Fort Dodge Animal Health. Fort Dodge Animal Health and Merial are two of the AVMA's three platinum sponsors.