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Merck & Co. (MRK - Get Report)  slipped in premarket trading Friday after announcing the acquisition of French digital animal identification solutions company Antelliq Group. 

Merck fell 1.41% to $77.35 before the stock market opened Friday. 

Merck, which owns Merck Animal Health, will purchase 100% of Antelliq for €2.1 billion ($2.37 billion). The transaction is all cash. 

"Merck Animal Health is a leader in the animal health business and has delivered consistent above-market growth driven by a broad portfolio of innovative pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other value-added technologies and services," said Chairman and CEO Kenneth C. Frazier. He added, "This acquisition is well aligned with our strategy to generate long-term growth and sustainable value for our customers and shareholders."

Merck has focused on its animal health business and the business, like many others, has become more digitized. Merck wants to ensure it provides animal health solutions in the way the market demands.

"The animal health industry is rapidly evolving with revolutionary digital solutions to manage the health and well-being of livestock and companion animals," said Rick DeLuca, president of Merck Animal Health.

This year has been big for healthcare mergers, with Cigna Corp.'s (CI - Get Report) $67 billion purchase of Express Scrips Holding Co. (ESRX) being one of the most notable. 

Merck shares have risen 40% this year.