It was interesting to learn that Eli Lilly is to purchase Novartis Animal Health with a deal that is worth €5.4bn.
The takeover will see the company move into fourth position in the Irish animal health market with a combined turnover of €12m – just behind Bimeada, Zoetis and MSD, who has the biggest market share. Elanco has made a lot of headway in Ireland in the past year having acquired Janssen Animal Health. Its small animal product range is currently distributed by Interchem. In that time, Novartis Animal Health has lost some ground, despite having a excellent portfolio of products. It has, however, made headway in the small animal market and, only two years ago, launched Fasinex 240, which was well received by both vets and farmers. Novartis is also strong on the BVD front and has received fantastic coverage in the sheep sector, sponsoring the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing & Wool Handling Championships over the years. This is a great opportunity for Eli Lilly as the combined business will give it critical mass. Unlike the proposed merger between Merial and MSD, this is an acquisition that will go through. The animal health market is worth €150m annually. Some of the challenges facing the industry include new legislation from Brussels coming down the line.