Merck KGaA to restructure U.S. ops after Millipore buyout

Merck KGaA has big plans for Massachusetts after it wraps up its $6 billion acquisition of Millipore. The chairman of the German pharma giant, Dr. Karl-Ludwig Kley, told the Boston Globe that the company will move the headquarters of its U.S. chemicals division from New Jersey to Billerica and rename the combined operation EMD Millipore.

The chemicals unit sells lab materials and drug discovery tools. The addition of Millipore, a big provider to drug developers, will trigger some considerable tinkering as Merck KGaA melds the two forces into one. Kley told the Globe that the restructuring will likely require some of its New Jersey workers to move to Billerica, but he also held out the prospect of job cuts. Then there's the issue of whether Millipore CEO Martin D. Madaus will stay on to helm the expanded company, which hasn't been decided yet.

Madaus will have no lack of cash, either way. As the Boston Business Journal reported earlier, the CEO controls more than 260,000 shares. At Merck's $107 offer, that's worth more than $27 million.

Of course, no interview with the hometown newspaper could avoid a pat on the back for Massachusetts.

"We have a U.S. strategy, but I have to admit we have no Massachusetts strategy," Kley said. "That everything we do turns out to be in Massachusetts is good luck for us and for Massachusetts. I think it has, of course, to do with the fact that Massachusetts is an extremely attractive state to do business for research or innovative companies."

- here's the full story from the Boston Globe