Merck announced today that it will merge with fellow drugmaker Schering-Plough in a $41.1 billion cash-and-stock deal to enlarge its pipeline of new drugs in development, reports the Wall Street Journal. The two companies have already collaborated on cholesterol drug Zetia—whose sales plummeted after a study questioned its effectiveness. The merger comes 6 weeks after rival Pfizer announced its acquisition of Wyeth.
The deal will see Schering-Plough shareholders acquire just over half a Merck share plus $10.50 in cash for each share they own. That works out to a 34% premium on Friday's closing price of Schering-Plough.