Merck Acquires China's Taizhu

BERLIN (AP) -- German drug and chemical maker Merck KGaA said Wednesday that it has bought Chinese pigment company Suzhou Taizhu Technology Development Co. Ltd. in a deal that gives it more clout in a fast-growing market.

Merck said that it has bought Taizhu's production site in Taicang, near Shanghai, as well as the company's entire sales and marketing organization in China and abroad for a total €28 million ($40 million).

Taizhu had total revenues of more than €14 million last year and has 300 employees, Darmstadt-based Merck said. It added that the deal was of "high strategic importance" to its pigments business.

"The transaction is highly attractive for Merck because Taizhu's products complement our premium product portfolio with a range that mainly serves the growing value-for-money market segment," Klaus Bischoff, the head of Merck's performance and life science chemicals division, said in a statement.

"Taizhu's customer base ideally complements our own," he added. "In recent years, Taizhu has built an outstanding reputation as a reliable source of high-quality effect pigments."

Merck said its own chemicals subsidiary has operated in Shanghai since 1997.

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