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Udit Batra, current head of Merck KGaA’s life science business, will lead the combined life science businesses following successful completion of Sigma-Aldrich acquisition.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced on April 13 that Udit Batra, current CEO and president of the company’s life science business, has been appointed to lead the combined life science business of Merck KGaA once the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich has been successfully completed.
The planned $17 billion transaction, which remains subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to becompleted in mid-2015. Until then, the life science business of Merck KGaA and Sigma-Aldrich will continue to operate as separate companies with Batra and Rakesh Sachdev, president and CEO of Sigma-Aldrich, running the respective organizations independently. Sachdev will serve in an advisory capacity, as needed, to ensure a smooth transition.
In September 2014, Merck KGaA announced the acquisition of US life science company Sigma-Aldrich as part of its "Fit for 2018" transformation and growth strategy. If approved, the acquisition will be the largest in the company's almost 350-year history, according to a Merck press release.
Merck KGaA has already secured antitrust clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission and some other jurisdictions, and is working with the respective authorities to complete the transaction as planned. In March, the company announced that it successfully placed $4 billion in bonds, following the placement of € 1.5 billion in hybrid bond in December to help finance the transaction, the company reports.
Batra has served as CEO and president of the life science business of Merck KGaA since March 2014. He joined Merck KGaA in 2011 to head the group's consumer health business. Prior to that, he worked at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, where he was head of global public health and market access. He served in a range of executive management positions at Novartis, including global head of corporate strategy and country president for the pharma business in Australia.
Source: Merck KGaA