Bayer AG: Bidding to Win Merck's OTC Business
Shortly after submitting their best and final offer to acquire Merck's Consumer Care Division, a collection of "over-the-counter" (OTC) products with sales totaling $2 billion, the Bayer M&A team was given a chance to revise their bid because another potential acquirer - likely Reckitt-Benckiser, a UK based company that had outbid them in a few prior acquisition auctions - had submitted a last-minute offer to Merck. Frank Rittgen (Head of M&A) and Werner Baumann (CFO) have to decide whether to increase the cash portion of their $14.2 billion offer and/or amend the terms of a proposed joint venture (JV) with Merck involving cardiovascular drugs which had been included in their offer as a way to "sweeten" the deal. Under the current terms of the proposed JV, Merck would pay Bayer $1 billion upfront for access to their pipeline of drugs and could pay up to another $1.2 billion in contingent payments based on actual sales. Alternatively, the Bayer team could hold fast on both fronts and let their final bid stand. With only an hour to make a decision regarding one of the industry's "transformational assets", the Bayer team had to move quickly and carefully as they were determined not to overpay for the asset.