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Merck trims operations post-merger

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Merck plans to phase out operations at eight research and eight manufacturing sites as part of its goal to wring $3.5 billion in annual cost savings from its acquisition of Schering-Plough by 2012. In a July 8 release, Merck said the changes position the firm to "invest in key areas for future growth," including consumer care. The firm originally expected to cut about 15,000 jobs in the initial restructuring phase; it employed 100,000 as of December 2009. Merck expects the manufacturing and research cuts to save $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion by 2012. The $3.5 billion goal aligns with expectations provided in March 2009 when the firms announced the merger. The merger made Merck a competitor in the consumer products market with Schering OTC brands including MiraLAX laxative, Coppertone skin care, Afrin decongestant, Claritin allergy relief and Dr. Scholl's foot care products (1"The Tan Sheet" Feb. 22, 2010)

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