NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- German drugmaker Bayer said it would buy Merck's consumer care business, including brands like Claritin and Coppertone, for $14.2 billion.
German drugmaker Bayer said it would buy Merck's (MRK) consumer care business for $14.2 billion.The deal is set to make Bayer the second-biggest over-the-counter drug-maker behind Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). According to the company, it should add $2.2 billion in annual sales to its non-prescription business. Merck said it expects after-tax proceeds of between $8 billion and $9 billion from the deal. It said it plans to use the proceeds to develop products that have the highest potential growth opportunities. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014. It is the latest in a string of M&A activity within the drug space. Last month, Novartis (NVS), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Eli Lilly (LLY) announced a $28.5 billion deal while Pfizer (PFE) has been seeking a $106 billion takeover of AstraZeneca (AZN). At last check, shares of Merck were falling about 1.7% to $57.64. In New York, I'm Brittany Umar for TheStreet. -- Written by Brittany Umar in New York.