Monday, August 11, 2014

Schering-Plough Merger/Yard Sale Aftermath: Fire 27,670 Employees; Charge Off $7.5 Billion To $8.2 Billion. Ugh.

To be clear, the $7.5 billion in writeoff figures listed in the just filed SEC Form 10-Q will not include several of the various closed or abandoned research programs which we have separately discussed (primarily the ones that were straight asset sales; no employees).

For example, it would not include the asset impairment charge of $1.7 billion related to the repeated vorapaxar "clanks." It would include the "cash" people costs, thought -- the firings. SO -- at $7.5 billion, Hassan's value-destruction is likely understated here, perhaps by 30 per cent. To be fair, his damage creation/accretion index, at Schering-Plough, must be a little over $10 billion. And that's before he took $235 million in compensation, all in over the six years, for himself. And before he (allegedly) caused a $688 million securities fraud settlement to be paid out.

I just think it worthwhile to remark that -- without any serious doubt then -- Mr. Hassan truly was (and is!) the most heartless CEO in America. His handiwork continues as his minions play the same games at other public pharma companies. You know their names. You've all seen their games. Here's to you Fred -- from pages 5 and 6 of the Merck SEC Form 10-Q for the second quarter of 2014:

. . . .Since inception of the Merger Restructuring Program through June 30, 2014, Merck has recorded total pretax accumulated costs of approximately $7.5 billion and eliminated approximately 27,670 positions comprised of employee separations, as well as the elimination of contractors and vacant positions. Approximately 4,890 position eliminations remain pending under this program as of June 30, 2014, which include the remaining actions under the 2008 Restructuring Program that are being reported as part of the Merger Restructuring Program as discussed below. The non-manufacturing related restructuring actions under the Merger Restructuring Program were substantially completed by the end of 2013. The remaining actions under this program relate to ongoing manufacturing facility rationalizations, which are expected to be substantially completed by 2016. The Company expects the estimated total cumulative pretax costs for this program to be approximately $7.9 billion to $8.2 billion. The Company estimates that approximately two-thirds of the cumulative pretax costs relate to cash outlays, primarily related to employee separation expense. Approximately one-third of the cumulative pretax costs are non-cash, relating primarily to the accelerated depreciation of facilities to be closed or divested. . . .

As irony would have it, Mr. Hassan recently wrote about the things one should highlight on one's resume, to get invited to be on a company's board of directors. [That blog post looks to be likely "mostly ghosted" by his crony, Ken Banta.] I wonder if these above items appear as dot points, on his resume -- as he seeks public company board seats. [He is so brash a fibber, I'm betting yes -- but with each "recast" as how he triumphantly thinned out the "affected" company.]

Perspective: I'm sure we will find other, less dank, matters to mention in the 10-Q. Back later, with those. Namaste -- as the day gig beckons.

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