Roche buys Boehringer Mannheim

July 1, 1997
Pharmaceutical Representative

BELSE, Swizterland - Roche Holding Ltd., Switzerland, announced plans to acquire Corange Ltd., the Bermuda-based holding company of the Boehringer Mannheim Group, Amsterdam.

BELSE, Swizterland - Roche Holding Ltd., Switzerland, announced plans to acquire Corange Ltd., the Bermuda-based holding company of the Boehringer Mannheim Group, Amsterdam.

If the $11 billion acquisition is approved by federal regulatory agencies, the two companies will join forces to form Roche Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics Division, the largest diagnostic manufacturer in the world.

Of most interest to the pharmaceutical industry, however, is how the acquisition will improve Roche's global presence and market share in pharmaceuticals. Currently, the company claims 2.7% of the market. With the addition of Boehringer Mannheim, which posted sales of some 1.5 billion Swiss francs in 1996, that number will rise to 3.3%.

Roche should benefit from two new cardiovascular and oncology products that Boehringer Mannheim recently launched and several new drugs that are in various stages of development. Ibandronat, a new product that may prevent and treat osteoporosis is the most advanced of the drugs; it is in phase III of development.

Roche plans to couple the development and marketing of Boehringer Mannheim's emerging products with its own mix of prospective new medicines, such as Posicor, Tasmar and the anti-obesity drug Xenical.

Gerber and Roche's chief operating officer, Franz B. Humer, M.D., indicated that restructuring was likely to occur in every office. Any necessary changes, Humer said, "will be carried out swiftly, fairly and with due regard to the welfare of affected employees."

Presently, Boehringer Mannheim employs about 18,000 people and Roche employs 50,000 people. The estimated number of employees who will work for the future Roche Boehringer Mannheim Diagnostics Division is 13,500. PR