The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for February 21, 2000
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.

(note: the regular edition of Brakke Consulting Animal Health News & Notes will be published on February 25.)

Company News Releases
• Merck and Aventis, joint parent companies of Merial, announced that effective February 21, 2000, Alan Reade will assume the position of executive chairman of Merial.  The announcement was made on February 18, 2000.  Reade was formerly the president and CEO of Rhone-Poulenc Agro for North American Operations, and is currently the leader of the Aventis CropScience post-merger integration process.  In order to ensure a smooth transition John Preston, the previous executive chairman of Merial, and Louis Champel, the previous CEO, will serve as consultants to Merial and Alan Reade for a limited period of time.


Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

Merck and Rhone Poulenc announced last week that they have completed the first phase of the Merial organization that was developed with the forming of Merial in 1997.  A press release was made by Merial in London on February 18, 2000 indicating that Alan Reade would become the Executive Chairman of Merial effective February 21, 2000.  The release further indicates that Dr. Preston and Mr. Champel will serve as consultants to Merial and Mr. Reade for a limited period of time.

The timing and content of this announcement apparently caught many Merial employees and the industry by surprise.  It had been assumed and anticipated that Louis Champel would become the Executive Chairman and that Dr. Preston would return to Merck at the end of the first two years.  It is not clear what the underlying implications are for this abrupt change.  We will be watching closely to see how this change affects Merial and others in the industry.

[Ron Brakke]

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