Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Artifact -- or, Evidence? Slides Collected Last Night, at the SEC's EDGAR Filing Desk. . . .


UPDATED 03.24.09 @ 9 AM

See the updated item.


Last night, Merck filed with the SEC more of its disclosure materials -- in this case, an updated slide-deck, being used with Merck employees, in "town hall" style meetings about the merger process. Page 14 of the newly-revised deck lept out at me, for two reasons:

First, note that if "a majority" of Schering-Plough's people are to be retained, then, to keep this statement purely factual, and accurate, up to 49.9999 percent of the pre-merger Schering-Plough people could be severed, in the merger. If that seems a tortured reading, consider that earlier pronouncements (Page 26, dated March 11, 2009, and filed with the SEC on March 12, 2009) on the topic, used the phrase "a substantial majority" -- and the ensuing difference is truly-striking [Click to enlarge images.]:

. . . .March 16, 2009, Page 14: Majority of Schering-Plough colleagues to remain. . . .

. . . .No top down review of Merck colleagues. . . .

Next, note that there will be no "top-down", position-by-position review of Merck people -- this fairly infers that there will be no "open-slating process" for all surviving positions (with nominees from both companies). The presumption here is that the pre-merger Merck people, absent special circumstances (poor performance issues; previously-declared redundant/outsourced -- in earlier Merck restructuring reviews), will be presumed to be placed in their positions, in the "new" Merck.

This is the newly-emerging reality -- and a perhaps unwelcome one -- for the Schering-Plough people, especially the corporate headquarters staff people, in my experience. There is little doubt that Merck already has substantially all of those roles covered, in Whitehouse Station. In the field, and in the R&D labs, this will be less-likely to be the case, in my estimation.


Anonymous said...

do check out gooznews--

The Annals of Negative Results
In a "new" study published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, an experimental cholesterol-lowering drug called pactimibe not only failed to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries, it actually raised LDL (so-called "bad" cholesterol) and led to an increased incidence of heart attacks and strokes in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (genetic high cholesterol).

later on it questions Vytorin.....

Anonymous said...

More sad news for S/P:

Schering-Plough Europe withdraws its marketing authorisation application for Cylatron

Anonymous said...

People at Merck are taking this statement a majority" of Schering-Plough's people are to be retained"

to meant that a majority of Merck people will not!

Condor said...

Odd. Then why no "top down" review?

At a minimum (for legal defensibility, if nothing else), if Merck is planning to let go of MORE than half of its work-force, it WOULD do a top-down review of all people and positions.

It has said it will not do this.

So, I see Merck as the clear wipe-out winner in this merger.


Anonymous said...

People at Schering-Plough are bracing for the worst. A majority of Scherng-Plough people being retained means that only 50.01% will be kept and that's only until the 2011 layoffs are announced - looking into the future of layoffs at big pharma isn't that difficult.

The packages being offered to SP people in the event of a takeover are pretty good so most people are going to stay to get the package.

Then again, Freddie and Dickie may have worked out the "takeover" or "merger" scenarios to make sure that those packages don't have be finalized. Lets wait to see what J&J think of all that Remicade money going to Merck to find out how it all plays out.

Anonymous said...

I believe Merck has already performed multiple "top down" reviews of it's people. They have been cutting about 10% every other years for the past 5 years.

I can't speak for SGP's layoffs.