Merck KGaA Revives Sale of Allergy Therapy Business

(Bloomberg) -- Merck KGaA is reviving plans for a potential sale of its allergy business, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The German pharmaceutical company is working with an adviser to consider options for the Allergopharma business, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Allergopharma focuses on diagnosing allergies and treating them by training patients’ immune systems to be less reactive to substances such as mold and pollen. Its products target type 1 allergies such as hay fever or allergic asthma.

Merck previously considered a sale of the business in 2015, when it was seeking ways to reduce debt following its $17 billion takeover of Sigma-Aldrich Corp., Bloomberg News has reported. The unit was valued at about 600 million euros ($667 million) at the time, according to people with knowledge the matter.

Shares of Merck have risen 6.8% this year, giving the company a market value of about 49 billion euros. No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said.

A representative for Merck declined to comment.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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