WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Raul Kohan will be appointed chief executive officer of Sanofi-aventis’ and Merck & Co. Inc.’s proposed Animal Health joint venture to be called Merial-Intervet. Sanofi-aventis and Merck intend to combine Merial with Intervet/Schering-Plough to create this new global animal health venture.

Merial-Intervet will offer animal-health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics with the ability to capitalize on growth opportunities in all fields and countries around the world.

Mr. Kohan is currently president of Intervet/Schering-Plough, Merck's animal health business. He will commence his new responsibilities when the new joint venture is approved by regulatory authorities and closes, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2011. Forming this new animal health joint venture is subject to execution of final agreements, antitrust review in the U.S., Europe and other countries, as well as other customary closing conditions.

“Raul Kohan will head this new leader in animal health,” said Christopher Viehbacher, chief executive officer of Sanofi-aventis. “The talents, products and expertise of both companies are very complementary and will create a company with greater geographical and market coverage. As a result, we expect the new Merial-Intervet joint venture to drive significant growth.”

“Raul brings a wealth of animal health and global pharmaceutical industry experience," said Richard Clark, Merck chairman and chief executive officer. “We're pleased that Raul will lead the integration of the two companies while continuing to deliver global growth momentum. The new joint venture will have one of the broadest portfolios of animal-health products and services in pharmaceuticals and biologics to meet the needs of millions of customers."

Raul Kohan is executive vice president and president, Global Animal Health, Merck. He joined Schering-Plough in 1984 and has since held positions of increasing responsibility. He served as deputy head of animal health and senior vice president, corporate excellence and administrative services for Schering-Plough Corporation. Previously, Mr. Kohan’s responsibilities included overseeing the company's Global Specialty Operations group, which comprised animal health and consumer health care for Schering-Plough.

José Barella, the current executive chairman of Merial, will continue his role until the transaction closes and will work closely with Mr. Kohan and contribute to the transition and creation of the new combined animal health business. He became Merial's executive chairman in 2007 with responsibility for executing global strategy and through his leadership grew the company to be an industry leader.

In 2008, the global animal-health market reached $19 billion. Products for companion animals accounted for 40% of total sales while products for production animals accounted for the remaining 60% of total sales. This market is expected to grow at around 5% per year over the next five years, driven by a growing demand for animal proteins, as well as a strong consumer needs for companion animal health care.

Merial and Intervet/Schering-Plough will continue to operate independently until the closing of the transaction.