Dutch firm eyes buyout of Merck's Organon ops

Scenario: A drugmaker buys a smaller company, then merges with another pharma. It then moves to shut down many of the smaller companies' facilities. So what happens? In this case, a local firm tries buy the unit back.

The Dutch bioscience company Pantarhei thus plans to bid for the Organon facilities Merck acquired in its merger with Schering-Plough. The U.S.-based drugmaker announced its plans to close Organon's R&D ops in the Netherlands last year, but after workers protested, the company postponed the shutdown to look for potential alternatives. As the December 15 deadline approached, Merck pushed the decision back to February 15.

Run by a former Organon exec, Pantarhei now has secured backing from "international private equity investors," Reuters reports, and so it can move in to propose a buyout. Merck so far hasn't commented on the potential deal, and no numbers are attached to it.

- read the news from Reuters