Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside of the United States and Canada, signed a definitive agreement to acquire the aqua business of Elanco Animal Health for $1.3 billion in cash, consisting of an innovative portfolio of medicines and vaccines, nutritionals and supplements for aquatic species; two related aqua manufacturing facilities in Canada and Vietnam; as well as a research facility in Chile. The acquisition is expected to be completed by mid-year 2024, subject to approvals from regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions.
Upon closing, the acquisition will broaden Merck Animal Health’s aqua portfolio with products, such as CLYNAV®, a new generation DNA-based vaccine that protects Atlantic salmon against pancreas disease, and IMVIXA®, an anti-parasitic sea lice treatment. This acquisition also brings a portfolio of water treatment products for warm water production, complementing Merck Animal Health’s warm water vaccine portfolio. In addition to these products, the DNA-based vaccine technology that is part of the business has the potential to accelerate the development of novel vaccines to address the unmet needs of the aqua industry.
“We are excited for the acquisition of Elanco’s aqua products, solutions as well as the capabilities and expertise the team brings to our business,” said Rick DeLuca, president, Merck Animal Health. “We believe this acquisition, coupled with our commercial and scientific prowess, will deliver enhanced benefits for our aqua customers. The addition of this innovative portfolio of cold water and warm water aqua products across vaccines, anti-parasitic treatments, water supplements and nutrition, will establish Merck Animal Health as a leader in aqua.”
Elanco Animal Health president and CEO Jeff Simmons said that "following a robust process over the last year, Merck Animal Health emerged as the right strategic buyer for the aquaculture business. I am confident they will continue to deliver value to the aqua customers who rely on these products and create opportunities for our team to continue to grow. We are deeply grateful to our aqua organization’s dedication to delivering for our customers and to our bigger purpose of enriching lives with animal protein.”
This acquisition will represent the latest in a series of acquisitions that have augmented Merck Animal Health’s aqua business. In March 2019, Merck Animal Health acquired Scan Aqua AS, a fish health and fish welfare company based in Norway, focused on key aqua products. In April 2019, Merck Animal Health announced the completion of its acquisition of Antelliq Corporation, which included BIOMARK, a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging and tracking technology for monitoring fish and wildlife. In December 2019, Merck Animal Health acquired Vaki, a leader in aquaculture and wild fish conservation monitoring equipment and real-time video monitoring technology for fish counting and size estimation from freshwater to saltwater rearing, while collecting and analytics for each stage of fish production.