Merck KGaAMerck KGaA announced that in order to provide assistance to the Japanese people following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of their country, the company will donate a total of 100 million YEN (approximately EUR 875,000). The major part of the donation will be given to the international relief organization "Save the Children". Merck's Japanese subsidiaries will decide how the remainder of the donation will be distributed. The region around Onahama, where one of Merck's production sites is located and which is close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, will definitely benefit from the donations.

The company is also encouraging its employees to make donations and has agreed to match employee contributions. These funds will also be given to "Save the Children".

Dr. Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of the Executive Board of Merck, said: "Our thoughts are with all the people in the regions impacted by the tragedy. We sincerely hope that the situation in Fukushima will be controlled soon and that no additional damage will occur so that reconstruction can start soon. Our donations are meant to help and support Japan."

Kley added: "During the years I lived in Japan, I had the opportunity to experience and understand the strength, courage and dedication of the Japanese people. I therefore firmly believe that this country will emerge stronger from this national tragedy. Merck will support Japan in that effort by continuing to invest there in research and development and operations."

The Merck Executive Board also has decided to set up an aid fund to support its Japanese employees whose property was damaged or destroyed by the natural disasters. Merck has approximately 1,000 employees in Japan.

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of EUR 9.3 billion in 2010, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.