KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has been notified that TRC Capital Investment Corporation (TRC Capital) has commenced an unsolicited “mini-tender” offer, dated March 26, 2020, to purchase up to 1,500,000 shares of Merck common stock at $73.35 per share. The offer price is approximately 4.4% below the closing price of the Merck common stock on March 13, 2020 ($76.75), the last trading day before the date of the offer, but approximately 2.8% above the closing price of the Merck common stock today March 20, 2020 ($71.36).
Merck does not endorse TRC Capital’s offer and recommends that Merck shareholders reject the offer and not tender their shares in response to TRC Capital’s unsolicited mini-tender offer. This mini-tender offer is at a price below the closing price for Merck’s shares (as of the day prior to the offer) and is subject to numerous conditions, including TRC Capital’s ability to obtain financing, there being no decrease to the market price of the Merck common stock since March 16, 2020, and no material worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 13, 2020. Merck is not associated in any way with TRC Capital, its mini-tender offer or the offer documentation.
TRC Capital has made similar, unsolicited mini-tender offers for shares of other publicly traded companies. Mini-tender offers seek to acquire less than five percent of a company’s outstanding shares. This lets the offering company avoid many of the disclosure and procedural requirements the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires for tender offers. As a result, mini-tender offers do not provide investors with the same level of protections as provided by larger tender offers under the U.S. federal securities laws.
On its website, the SEC advises that the people behind mini tender-offers “frequently use mini-tender offers to catch shareholders off guard” and that investors “may end up selling at below-market prices.” The SEC’s website also contains important tips for investors regarding mini-tender offers.
Like TRC Capital’s other offers, this one puts individual investors at risk because they may sell their shares at a discount without so realizing. Merck urges shareholders to obtain current stock quotes for their shares of Merck common stock, review the terms and conditions to the offer, consult with their broker or financial adviser and exercise caution with respect to TRC Capital’s mini-tender offer.
Merck shareholders who have already tendered are advised that they may withdraw their shares by providing the written notice described in the TRC Capital offering documents prior to the expiration of the offer, which is currently scheduled at 12:01 a.m. New York City time on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
Merck encourages brokers, dealers, and other investors to review the SEC’s letter regarding broker-dealer mini-tender offer dissemination and disclosure.
Merck requests that a copy of this news release be included with all distribution of materials related to TRC Capital’s offer for shares of Merck common stock.
For more than 125 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
This news release of Merck may include “forward-looking statements.” These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the recent global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Merck’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).