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Merck KGaA (MKGAF.PK) Release: European Antitrust Authorities Clear Acquisition Of Serono International S.A. (SRA)



12/18/2006 1:36:40 PM

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Serono has today been informed that Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany has published the following press release:

The European Commission has approved the planned acquisition of Serono SA by Merck KGaA without any restrictions. The transaction already received U.S. antitrust approval on October 30, 2006.

Following the closing of the agreement with the Bertarelli family, which remains planned for early January 2007, Merck will make a public tender offer under Swiss law to the shareholders of Serono for Sfr 1,100 per share.

Forward-looking statements

Some of the statements in this press release are forward looking. Such statements are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Serono S.A. and affiliates to be materially different from those expected or anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on Serono's current expectations and assumptions, which may be affected by a number of factors, including those discussed in this press release and more fully described in Serono's Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 28, 2006. These factors include any failure or delay in Serono's ability to develop new products, any failure to receive anticipated regulatory approvals, any problems in commercializing current products as a result of competition or other factors, our ability to obtain reimbursement coverage for our products, the outcome of any government investigations and litigation. Serono is providing this information as of the date of this press release, and has no responsibility to update the forward-looking statements contained in this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.

About Serono

Serono is a global biotechnology leader. The Company has eight biotechnology products, Rebif(R), Gonal-f(R), Luveris(R), Ovidrel (R)/Ovitrelle(R), Serostim(R), Saizen(R), Zorbtive(TM) and Raptiva(R). In addition to being the world leader in reproductive health, Serono has strong market positions in neurology, metabolism and growth and has recently entered the psoriasis area. The Company's research programs are focused on growing these businesses and on establishing new therapeutic areas, including oncology and autoimmune diseases.

In 2005, Serono, whose products are sold in over 90 countries, achieved worldwide revenues of US$2,586.4 million. Reported net loss in 2005 was US$106.1 million, reflecting a charge of US$725 million taken relating to the settlement of the US Attorney's Office investigation of Serostim. Excluding this charge as well as other non-recurring items, adjusted net income grew 28.4% to US$565.3 million in 2005. Bearer shares of Serono S.A., the holding company, are traded on the virt-x (SEO) and its American Depositary Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (SRA).

Serono International S A

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Corporate Media, Relations:Tel: +41-22-414-36-00, Fax: +41-22-414-30-85, http://www.serono.com; MediaRelations, USA: Tel: +1-781-681-2340, Fax: +1-781-681-2935,http://www.seronousa.com; Corporate Investor, Relations: Tel:+41-22-414-36-01, Fax: +41 22 414 30 22, Reuters: SEO.VX / SRA.N,Bloomberg: SEO VX / SRA US; Investor Relations, USA: Tel: +1-781-681-2552,Fax: +1-781-681-2912


Read at BioSpace.com


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