Update on Redeployment of Merck Serono Employees in Geneva

Update on Redeployment of Merck Serono Employees in Geneva

GENEVA, January 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The job prospects of approximately 750 employees - i.e. 6 people out of 10 - have been resolved

Merck Serono today provided an update on the redeployment of its Geneva-based staff at the end of 2012.

About 750 employees from the site in Geneva, i.e. 6 people out of 10, currently have well-defined job prospects:

    280 employees have accepted the offer of a transfer to another Merck Serono site: 170 within Switzerland and 110 abroad;
    390 employees have found a job with another company (including employees who have not yet left Merck Serono); 38 people are employed by one of the five start-up companies that have been founded in the wake of the Entrepreneur Partnership Program;
    80 employees will benefit from early retirement.

"Today, the job prospects have been clarified for 60% of the employees from the Geneva site," said François Naef, Chairman of Merck Serono S.A. "We are happy to note that the number of employees who have found a job with another company is growing every month, sometimes even before they have left Merck Serono. At the end of September 2012, 500 employees had well-defined job prospects and their progression to 750 during the last quarter is very encouraging."

The employment contracts of 611 employees terminated at the end of 2012. At the start of 2013, the number of former employees of Merck Serono registered as unemployed with the regional placement offices of the Geneva and Vaud cantons and with the job centers of French departments Ain and Haute-Savoie was 136 in total.

"We continue to follow the situation very closely, and the figures at the start of 2013 are very encouraging," added François Naef. "The credit of course goes above all to the employees for their efforts and skills, and to the vitality of the life sciences sector in the Lake Geneva region, but we believe the various placement initiatives put in place by Merck Serono in collaboration with various stakeholders in the region have also played a substantial part. We are particularly grateful for the efforts by the relevant departments of the Geneva and Vaud cantons."

Following the announcement of the plans to close its site in Geneva, Merck Serono developed several initiatives to identify opportunities for the placement of its employees, in particular:

    Facilitation of contacts between its employees and other companies;
    Promotion of job fairs and pools with regional partners such as the Group of Multinational Enterprises (GEM), BioAlps and their business partners, as well as with regional authorities;
    Launch of a program to assist employees in the creation of start-up companies, including a fund worth 30 million euros; the creation of five companies has been announced to date, with other projects currently under evaluation, to be announced in 2013;
    Participation in the task force initiated by Geneva's Council of State, whose work is continuing.

Employees transferred within Switzerland will ultimately be based in Aubonne (Vaud), in a new building next to Merck Serono's manufacturing site. Construction work on the new building started in January 2013 and should be completed by mid-2014. In the meantime, employees will be based at the Coinsins site (Vaud) as well as in offices located in Eysins (Vaud).

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono. Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of oncology, neurology and immunology.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of €10.3 billion in 2011, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com or http://www.merckgroup.com

SOURCE Merck Serono S A

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