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Schering files to trade on New York Stock Exchange

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For the last 11 years Schering AG has been represented in the U.S. by its subsidiary, contrast agent manufacturer Berlex Laboratories, but the German parent company will soon be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.The move is being made to broaden

For the last 11 years Schering AG has been represented in the U.S. by its subsidiary, contrast agent manufacturer Berlex Laboratories, but the German parent company will soon be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The move is being made to broaden Schering’s shareholder base in the U.S., according to Dr. Giuseppe Vita, chairman of the company’s board of executive directors, who hopes it will lure more talent to the company’s subsidiaries in the U.S.

“The NYSE listing will permit us to introduce a stock-based compensation program in the United States,” Vita said, “thus enabling us to continue to attract and retain high-caliber talent.”

Vita will step down as chairman in April 2001 and will be succeeded by Dr. Hubertus Erlen.

Schering has not previously operated under its own name in the U.S. During World War II, the U.S. seized German companies such as Schering, which a guardian management operated until 1971. At that time Schering AG signed an agreement with spin-off Schering-Plough that the parent company would not do business in the U.S. market under its German name, and it became Berlex labs in the U.S.

In addition to contrast agents, Berlex and other U.S. subsidiaries of Schering manufacture vascular and MR injection systems, radiopharmaceuticals, hormones, anti-inflammatory agents, oral contraceptives, and various agricultural products.

The contrast media industry is competitive. X-ray and CT contrast media are experiencing price declines brought on in part by generic contrast agents supplanting brand agents, price pressure forcing large discounts, and less expensive locally manufactured agents limiting revenue (SCAN, 8/2/00). Sales of MR and ultrasound media, on the other hand, are growing.

Schering is among the major vendors of contrast agents, which include Bracco, Mallinckrodt, and Nycomed Amersham.

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