Merger partners in brief

Astra AB

Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Södertälje, Sweden, Astra was an international pharmaceutical group engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products, primarily for four main product groups: gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory and pain control. Some research effort was also aimed at the central nervous system. Additionally, Astra marketed a range of other pharmaceutical products, including anti-infective products, and also operated Astra Tech, a medical devices group.

Key products at merger

  • Gastrointestinal - Losec (omeprazole), the world's largest selling pharmaceutical
  • Cardiovascular - Seloken (metoprolol), Plendil (felodipine), Ramace (ramipril), Atacand (candesartan cilexetil)
  • Respiratory - Pulmicort (budesonide), Bricanyl (terbutaline), Rhinocort (budesonide) and Turbuhaler (inhalation flow-driven device)
  • Anaesthesia - Xylocaine (lidocaine), the world's largest selling local anaesthetic

1998 figures

  • Sales totalled SEK 57 billion
  • Profit of SEK 16 billion
  • R&D expenditure of SEK 10.6 billion
  • 22,000 employees worldwide

Zeneca Group PLC

On 1 June 1993, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI, founded in 1926) demerged three of its businesses (Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemicals and Specialties) to form a separate company, Zeneca. Headquartered in London, Zeneca was a major international bioscience group engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals (focusing on cancer, cardiovascular, central nervous system, respiratory and anaesthesia), agricultural chemicals and specialty chemicals, and the provision of disease-specific healthcare services. Its businesses were research and technology intensive, with extensive international development and marketing skills, and a strong common science base.

Key products at merger

  • Oncology - Zoladex (goserelin acetate), Casodex (bicalutamide), Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate), Arimidex (anastrozole)
  • Cardiovascular - Zestril (lisinopril dihydrate), Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Respiratory - Accolate (zafirlukast)
  • Central nervous system - Zomig (zolmitriptan)
  • Anaesthesia - Diprivan (propofol), the world's largest selling injectable general anaesthetic
  • Agrochemicals - Gramoxone, Fusilade, Touchdown and Surpass (herbicides); Karate (insecticide); Amistar (fungicide)

1998 figures

  • Group sales totalled £5.5 billion
  • Operating profit of over £1 billion
  • R&D expenditure of £602 million
  • 34,000 employees worldwide