United States: Multi-Office Coudert Team Advising Merck KGaA in $1.68 Billion Sale of VWR International to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc.
Last Updated: February 25 2004

New York, NY (Feb. 24) - Global pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck KGaA and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. (CDR), a leading global private equity firm, announced on February 19, 2004 they entered into a stock purchase agreement whereby a fund managed by CDR will buy 100 percent of Merck's laboratory distribution business, VWR International, for $1.68 billion. Coudert Brothers LLP is representing long-time client Merck in this transaction.

The agreement is subject to regulatory approval and closing of the transaction will take place as soon as all necessary approvals have been granted.

The Coudert team advising on the deal consists of expertise drawn from multiple geographies in the Firm, including attorneys in the New York, Washington DC, Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt offices. New York counsel Edwin S. Matthews Jr. and partners James C. Colihan and Jeffrey E. Cohen lead the effort.

Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. is financial adviser to Merck for this transaction.

With 5,880 employees and annual sales of approximately $2.7 billion, West Chester, Pennsylvania-based VWR is one of the world's leading distributors of laboratory products. VWR's 750,000 products range from test tubes to fully equipped laboratory clean rooms and biologic materials for drug development.

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR7.2 billion, a history that began in 1668, and 34,200 employees in 53 countries. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds a 74 percent interest and free shareholders own the remaining 26 percent. The former U.S. subsidiary, Merck & Co., has been completely independent of the Merck Group since 1917. For more information, visit www.merck.de.

Recently named "the most internationally enterprising of all U.S. based law firms" by a leading industry journal, Coudert Brothers LLP is comprised of 650 lawyers in 30 offices across 18 countries. The firm is nominated for Law Firm-of-the-Year in Western Europe for IP and as International Law Firm-of-the-Year in China; earned the top ranking among large firms in American Lawyer's Summer Associates Survey; represents two of the largest hedge funds in the world; and is recognized industry wide for its leadership in transactions involving cross-border complexity.


Coudert Brothers is an international law firm specialising in corporate and commercial law. Operating as a global unified partnership the firm comprises 650 lawyers working in 30 offices in 18 countries around the world.

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