A $20 billion asset swap between two large European animal health companies has resulted in metro Atlanta keeping a significant corporate headquarters for animal health as its ownership changes hands.
Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. will hire 75 people as it moves leadership of its animal-health business from its existing operation in St. Joseph, Mo., to Duluth after purchasing Merial, a French-based leader in animal drugs.
Boehringer struck a deal in June to gain control of Merial, valued at $12.76 billion, by ceding its consumer health business to Merial’s French parent company, Sanofi.
The deal has reportedly gained antitrust approval in Europe and is expected to close in January after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission signs off.
Boehringer expects the move to have minimal impact on its site in Missouri, where it has invested $160 million over the last five years and employs 800 people, according to reports.
Duluth already had the U.S. headquarters of Merial, but the Boehringer executives complimented many of Gwinnett County’s assets, including its proximity to Gainesville, Ga., the world’s poultry capital, and the University of Georgia’s animal health research centers in Athens.
“An Atlanta-area headquarters will allow us to stay more closely connected to our U.S. and international operations, teams and clients, fostering greater collaboration and interconnectedness around the globe. We look forward to being a partner of Duluth, the greater Atlanta area and the State of Georgia, while continuing our vibrant presence in St. Joseph,” Albrecht Kissel, president and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., said in a news release.
Gwinnett County for years has been marketing itself as a central node in a Georgia biotech corridor called the Innovation Crescent running from Atlanta to Athens.