2. Merck Animal Health - Top 10 animal health companies

Merck ($MRK) Animal Health
2013 Revenue: $3.36 billion
HQ: Summit, NJ

Last year was a year of limbo for Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the U.S. Merck & Co CEO Ken Frazier put the unit into play as part of a company restructuring to cut $2.5 billion in costs and 8,500 employees. He has indicated he likes the business, even though revenues were off last year by 9%. But Frazier said it needs to be a leader, so he might sell it or he might keep it and beef it up. There were plenty of rumors about possible deals, first that Novartis ($NVS) would trade its animal health biz for Merck's consumer biz, then that Bayer might do that. Neither happened, and instead, Eli Lilly ($LLY) bought Novartis' unit, a move that catapults it into the number two position in the animal health market, making it harder for Merck to reach that leading role. On top of that, last year Merck pulled its growth-promoting feed additive Zilmax over disturbing reports of crippled and dying cattle and has yet to get that $160 million seller back to the market, suggesting that this year will be a struggle for the unit financially. -- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

For more:
Sources: Bayer offers animal health biz, cash for Merck's OTC unit
Wanna trade? Novartis and Merck are reportedly negotiating a $5B unit swap
Merck to slash 8,500 more jobs in $2.5B global overhaul
With Merck's Zilmax out of the picture, Eli Lilly drug surges
Merck stops selling Zilmax to study livestock drug's safety

2. Merck Animal Health - Top 10 animal health companies