20 May 1999
Rhône-Poulenc/Hoechst merger in six months

By FWi staff

THE planned accelerated full merger of Rhône-Poulenc and Hoechst into Aventis will be completed by November 1999, the two companies have agreed.

The directors of both Rhône-Poulenc and Hoechst have approved the planned transaction, said a press statement released by the companies today (Thursday).

The planned merger has also been approved in principle by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, the largest shareholder of Hoechst, said the statement.

A series of annual and extraordinary meetings for the respective companies shareholders will now be held to approve the planned Aventis transaction.

John Drinkwater, designated country head for Aventis Crop Science in the UK, described the announcement as very encouraging news.

“The agreement of the respective boards to an accelerated full merger of both companies is a clear signal that Aventis is on track to be a reality this year.”

Aventis SA corporate headquarters will be in Strasbourg, France, although Aventis Agriculture will be based in Lyon.

The agricultural interests of Aventis will include Rhône-Poulenc Agro, Hoechst Schering AgrEvo, and Rhône-Poulenc Animal Nutrition.

The new company will also have a 50% interest in Merial – the joint venture with Merck & Co.