Merck (MRK) said on Monday that it would acquire Schering-Plough (SGP) for $41.1 billion. Schering-Plough shareholders will receive $23.61 a share, representing a premium of about 34 percent over Schering's Friday's close. The benefits: a bigger pipeline, joint R&D, strategic alliances, and of course financial benefits such as cost cuts. Not surprising, SGP shares are up over 18 percent in premarket trade, MRK down over 4 percent.
American International Group (AIG) bailout money didn't go just to AIG, published reports revealed, putting the financial sector in focus again Monday. Some foreign banks, as well as top U.S. financial institutions, received $50 billion of AIG aid, including Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC) and Wachovia, now owned by Wells Fargo (WFC). (The Wall Street Journal's list, Fortune'slist.) AIG, meanwhile, appealed for its fourth U.S. rescue by telling regulators the company's collapse would be "catastrophic," according to Bloomberg. AIG shares are up 2.8 percent in premarket trade.