FRANKFURT, July 12 (Reuters) - German chemicals and drugs company Merck KGaA is in the market for mid-size acquisitions to bolster its pharmaceuticals division, the head of that unit told Swiss business paper Finanz und Wirtschaft.
Asked whether Merck was planning to go on a buying spree, Stefan Oschmann, the head of the company’s pharma unit was quoted as saying: “Yes we are open to mid-size acquisitions,” adding that the company was looking into potential targets in areas such as oncology and immunology.
“We cannot and will not buy a giant biotech or pharma competitor,” Oschmann said.
Merck’s Chief Executive Karl-Ludwig Kley had said in May the company could join a deal frenzy sweeping the pharmaceutical sector and that he was ready to take “ambitious steps”.
That was shortly after buying Britain’s AZ Electronic Materials for $2.6 billion.
Oschmann said Merck KGaA’s biosimilar business, which makes copies of biotech medicines, was making good progress.
Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle