Takeover sparks jobs fear at Welwyn Garden City firm

THE threat of job losses among 800 WGC workers has surfaced after the takeover of a pharmaceutical giant. Schering-Plough, which has its UK base in Shire Park, has been bought out by rivals Merck in a multi-billion pound deal. The move will create a new g

THE threat of job losses among 800 WGC workers has surfaced after the takeover of a pharmaceutical giant.

Schering-Plough, which has its UK base in Shire Park, has been bought out by rivals Merck in a multi-billion pound deal.

The move will create a new global drugs giant and see the two US firms - with a combined UK workforce of nearly 3,000 - join forces later this year.

There are fears it could trigger a 15 per cent reduction in the combined global workforce.

Schering-Plough employs 51,000 around the world including 1,500 in the UK - more than half of which work in or from Shire Park.

But a spokesman this week told the WHT it was too early to say what impact the takeover would have on staff numbers here.

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The �29bn deal, to be paid in shares and cash, will bring together the makers of blockbuster treatments including cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin.

Schering-Plough chairman Fred Hassan said: "By harnessing the strengths of both companies, the combined entity will be well-positioned to further deliver on our shared goal of discovering new therapies for patients to help them live healthier, happier lives.