Merck completes sale of consumer unit to Bayer

Drugmaker Merck said Wednesday that it completed the sale of its consumer care business, which makes products including Claritin allergy medication and Coppertone sun-care line, to German health care company Bayer for $14.2 billion.

Bayer AG agreed to buy the business in May. Merck, of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, said it expects about $9 billion in proceeds after taxes. Bayer and Merck also agreed to work together to develop and sell drugs that could be used to treat certain heart conditions. Merck agreed to pay Bayer $1 billion upfront as part of that collaboration, and it could make up to $1.1 billion in additional payments based on sales.

Merck agreed to buy hepatitis C drug developer Idenix Pharmaceuticals a month after it agreed to sell the . That $3.85 billion deal closed in August.

Shares of Merck & Co. fell 36 cents to $58.92 in midday trading.

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