Friday, November 13, 2015

Merck Animal Health Quietly Acquires Privately-Held Harrisvaccines -- Terms Withheld

I think this latest news may be safely read as more consolidation among newer franchises, in the AH space, broadly -- and as a deal that gives Merck access to some newer vaccine tech and product candidates -- more narrowly, as it looks for an edge, in competing with the 2013 era Pfizer AH spinoff, Zoetis.

The purchase price will be completely immaterial to Kenilworth, as 45 employees would imply a low- to mid- double digits of millions price, as a pure guess. However, in the longer run, the fold in to animal vaccines may well-position the group -- as additional consolidating deals among global animal health manufacturers are quite likely, in my view. Here's the relevant bit, courtesy the overnight Des Moines Register:

. . . .Joel Harris, a vice president with Harrisvaccines, said the 10-year old company has been openly considering offers in the last year in order to help it enhance its ability to grow.

He said the vaccine manufacturer would benefit from Merck’s resources to expand its technology into other areas such as foot-and-mouth-disease in cattle and canine influenza in dogs.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, including the purchase price. Harrisvaccines, which currently employs about 45 full-time people, does not expect any job cuts.

Harrisvaccines was the first company to get approval in 2014 for a vaccine to help protect piglets from the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus that killed millions of pigs in more than 30 states, including Iowa, the country’s largest pork producer. And last month it announced it was awarded a $6 million contract to provide 48 million doses of its bird flu vaccine to the USDA. . . .

We will keep an eye on this, but it ought to close before year end, as there are no Hart-Scott filings, or issues. Enjoying a weekend visit with a nephew, out on a college recruiting trip. . . so, keep it spinning in good karma, one and all!

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