Merck KGaA has announced a new global rebrand, with subsidiaries Merck Serono and Merck Millipore being eliminated and absorbed into the main brand.

Serono will now operate simply as the biopharma business of Merck, and Millipore as its life science business. Serono was acquired in 2006 and Millipore in 2010

The rebrand also comes with a colourful new logo and a complete overhaul of the German firm’s visual appearance, based on the concept of shapes seen under a microscope. The new logo will be used in different colours depending on the situation.

Walter Huber, head of group communications, explains: "A comprehensive external and internal analysis showed that we must emotionalise our brand appearance to a much greater extent in order to be perceived as a vibrant technology company in the market and by applicants.”

CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley adds: "Merck has fundamentally changed over the past ten years. We have developed from a classic supplier of pharmaceuticals and chemicals into a global technology company. With our unique combination of highly specialised biopharmaceutical, life science and materials businesses, we are in a position today to offer solutions to support global megatrends such as health and digitisation.

“The complete overhaul of our brand identity is to communicate this new direction vis-à-vis our customers, partners and applicants. We want to be recognisable and remain visible as Merck worldwide so as to strengthen our well-known brand name. For this we have deliberately rid ourselves of outdated features and will be focusing on a young and eye-catching image."

The new naming will affect all regions except the US the US and Canada, where the American Merck & Co owns the rights to the Merck name. In those countries, the company will therefore continue to operate as EMD Serono in the biopharmaceutical business and EMD Millipore in the life science business up until the planned acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich has been completed.

To make up for this and “create a strong visual link to the Merck businesses in the US and Canada” the company is also introducing a multi-coloured ‘M’ in addition to the new logo, to indicate the membership of businesses and products to the Merck Group “independent of company names or regions”.