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Merck Acquiring Schering-Plough for $41 Billion

Pharmaceutical giant Merck will purchase its rival company Schering-Plough through a stock purchase transaction valued at $41.1 billion. A joint statement from the two companies says the new company will operate under the Merck name and that Richard T. Clark, Merck's president and CEO, will lead the company. "The combined company will benefit from a formidable research and development pipeline, a significantly broader portfolio of medicines, and an expanded presence in key international markets, particularly in high-growth markets," says Clark in the statement. CNN and other news sources report that the combined company will reduce approximately 15 percent of its work force following the acquisition. Merck, headquartered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, has approximately 55,200 employees worldwide; Schering-Plough, based in Kenilworth, New Jersey, has approximately 51,000 employees. The deal marks the second major pharmaceutical company acquisition in the past two months; in late January, Pfizer announced that it would purchase rival Wyeth.

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