It now seems likely that these operations will close altogether. Per Reuters reporting, overnight:
. . . .But on Wednesday [Merck] said it had not been able to come up with a feasible business plan for the Dutch-based R&D activities. . . .
Merck did not name the parties involved, but media reports have indicated that Aspen Pharmacare, Africa's biggest generic drug maker, Japan's Takeda, and Dutch bioscience firm Pantarhei had bid for parts of the business.
MSD-Organon is now looking at whether it can retain any of the R&D jobs within Merck. It said Organon's drugs and biologics business will remain an important part of the company. . . .
So, next up is an orderly process (via Dutch law) of Works Council meetings to close out the operations, and establish the long-term, multi-year severance packages for the workers. So the story of the last years of Schering-Plough in the Netherlands is one of very capable scientists, and very able line workers -- all ultimately failed by atrociously self-aggrandizing senior executives in Kenilworth, New Jersey: Hassan, Cox, Bertolini, Saunders, Sabatino and Koestler.
Truly sad. And largely avoidable -- this is plainly yet another Fred Hassan "hangover" item (see full updated table of these Hassan blunders, here). His eyes were obviously bigger than his brain, when he bought Organon (on behalf of Schering-Plough). He seemed to think size and scale, alone would be enough -- sans long term strategic fit.
What a monumental failure his tenure has turned out to be, no? But as he told us, worry not, for him -- ha was sure to take care of himself.