Saturday, March 14, 2009

Will Culture and Productivity Survive and Thrive Post-Merger?

For both the Merck – Schering-Plough and Roche – Genentech merger deals, it will be interesting to observe how the Companies’ integration strategies affect the culture and productivity of the resulting combined entities. Merck veered away from its cultural legacy of internal driven growth a few years ago partially as a response to the loss of revenue from the Vioxx debacle. Therefore this merger may be a natural progression to the significant number of licensing deals completed over the last few years. The two Companies already have familiarity through their important Vytorin partnership. One major risk is the sheer size of the merger and the integration process being “a shock to the system”. Roche has undertaken a riskier endeavor with its acquisition of Genentech. Roche was already deriving significant benefit from its partnership with the most innovative and successful biotech Company. Let’s hope that “the Golden Goose” of biotech innovation is not killed through the integration process. It would be a travesty if this merger resembles anything like another famous European – American merger that recently unraveled: Mercedes – Chrysler…

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