Sanofi-Aventis and Merck -- known as MSD outside the United States and Canada -- intend to combine Merial with Intervet/Schering-Plough, to create a new global leader in Animal Health to be called Merial-Intervet. Raul Kohan will become the chief executive officer of the Sanofi-Aventis and Merck & Co. animal-health joint venture.

Kohan is the current president of Intervet/Schering-Plough, Merck's animal health business. His new responsibilities will begin when the regulatory authorities approve the Merial-Intervet joint venture. That closure is expected to occur by first-quarter 2011. Formation of the new venture is subject to execution of final agreements, antitrust review in the United States, Europe and other countries, as well as other customary closing conditions.

"Raul Kohan will head this new leader in animal health," says Christopher Viehbacher, chief executive officer of Sanofi-Aventis. "The talents, products and expertise of both companies are complementary and will create a company with greater geographical and market coverage. As a result, we expect the new Merial-Intervet joint venture to drive significant growth."

"Raul brings a wealth of animal health and global pharmaceutical industry experience," says Richard Clark, Merck chairman and chief executive officer. "The new joint venture will have one of the broadest portfolios of animal health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics..."

Kohan is Merck's executive vice president and president, global animal health. He joined Schering-Plough in 1984 and served as deputy head of animal health and senior vice president, corporate excellence and administrative services for Schering-Plough Corp.

José Barella, the current executive chairman of Merial, will continue his role until the transaction closes, and will work closely with Kohan.

The new Merial-Intervet joint venture will offer a broader portfolio of animal health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics, as well as, the ability to capitalize on growth opportunities in all fields and countries around the world. Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough will continue to operate independently until the closing of the transaction.
The worldwide animal health market reached $19 billion in 2008. Products for companion animals accounted for 40 percent of total sales while products for production animals accounted for the remaining 60 percent of total sales. This market is expected to grow about 5 percent annually during the next five years, driven by a growing demand for animal proteins, as well as a strong consumer needs for companion-animal health care.

Source: Sanofi-Aventis/Merck