10 May 1996

Ciba/Sandoz merger inquiry is opened

EU competition authorities have opened an investigation into the proposed merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz (Business, Mar 15).

As the worlds largest supplier of crop protection products, the new company, Novartis, would be twice as large as its nearest competitor in this sector.

And in France its share of the fungicide and seed treatment market could exceed 50%.

Overall, Novartis would be the worlds second largest supplier in the pharmaceutical, animal health and seed sectors.

Such considerations, together with the combined research and development potential, have led the commission to open a four-month detailed inquiry.

Don Taylor, Ciba Agricultures managing director, said he was confident that the merger would go ahead, although he did not expect the new company to be trading until towards the end of the year. &#42