German life sciences group Merck KGaA (MRK: DE) has said that it plans to that “purposefully develop” its structures at the Darmstadt site further. The aim is to be able to benefit in the best possible way from the global growth opportunities of the three business sectors over the long term.
“Darmstadt is a strong site with strong prospects. Our Group headquarters are and will remain in Darmstadt. We manufacture here for all three business sectors. Important research activities are based in Darmstadt and we meanwhile have more than 10,000 employees at the site,” said Stefan Oschmann, chairman of the executive board and chief executive of Merck. “Now, in a situation in which Merck is doing very well, we want to strategically prepare the site for further growth in the three business sectors. To do so, we must link it better with other parts of the advancing Merck world,” said Dr Oschmann.
The announcement could be a prelude to a possible change of ownership or separate stock market listing, according to some commentators, although Merck has denied this to be its intentions.
For this purpose, the company will relaunch the enterprise resource planning systems of Merck KGaA. To date, these have primarily been optimized for the requirements at the Darmstadt site but only support global needs of the business sectors to a limited extent. Three customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are to be set up for the three business sectors Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials. To this end, Merck will also examine the company legal structures at the site, particularly the establishment of subsidiaries under the roof of Merck KGaA to run the individual businesses and their ERP systems.
Generally, lowering internal complexity is the maxim for all of the planned measures. The company aims to optimally utilize the potential of all three business sectors. “We will continue to see ourselves as one Merck, and act accordingly. That’s our strength, it’s what makes us unique,” said Dr Oschmann.
The planned measures and their concrete form are still subject to further review and decision-making by the executive board and other responsible bodies. According to the current status, implementation should largely take place in 2018.