Darmstadt, Germany, September 28, 2015 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials, today announced that it is progressing toward the completion of the Sigma-Aldrich acquisition and that closing is expected within the next two months.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, on August 11 announced that it had obtained all necessary antitrust approvals, with the approval of the European Commission being conditional upon the sale of parts of Sigma-Aldrich’s solvents and inorganics business. Negotiations with potential buyers are in the final stage. Once a binding agreement has been signed, the European Commission needs to approve the buyer before Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, can proceed with the completion of the Sigma-Aldrich acquisition. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in August had forecast to complete the transaction in the third quarter.

“We are diligently working on fulfilling the EU commitments,” said Bernd Reckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and CEO Life Science. “However, due to the complex nature of the business, the process is taking longer than originally expected. Meanwhile we’ve been making very good progress in our integration planning and are looking forward to swiftly integrating Sigma-Aldrich, which will allow us to offer customers a broader portfolio of products, greater geographic reach and an unmatched combination of industry-leading capabilities.”

Sigma-Aldrich shareholders approved the merger with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in December 2014. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has also completed its capital markets activities to finance the transaction with the placement of a € 2.1 billion bond at the end of August.

The planned acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich for approximately US$ 17 billion (€ 13.1 billion), which was announced in September 2014, is a key element of the “Fit for 2018” transformation and growth program of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Establishing one of the leading players in the $ 130 billion global life science industry, the transaction presents an opportunity for both companies and their customers. Once the transaction has been completed, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will be able to serve life science customers around the world with a highly attractive set of established brands and an efficient supply chain that can support the delivery of more than 300,000 products.