- Merck KGaA will invest 1 billion euros, or about $1.14 billion in its global headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany over the next five years, the company said Wednesday.
- The pharmaceutical giant made a similar pledge in 2015, committing 1 billion euros through 2020. This time, the company plans to build a Vocational and Advanced Training Center at Darmstadt and is also in talks for a new membrane plant.
- The agreement between management and worker representatives includes an employment guarantee to be extended through 2025 as well. That will be applicable to German Merck's roughly 11,000 employees located in Darmstadt, Weiterstadt and Gernsheim.
The agreement solidifies the Darmstadt location as Merck's global headquarters.
Darmstadt is roughly 20 miles south of Frankfurt and home to multiple science-based organizations beyond Merck, including the European Space Agency's main mission control and an intergovernmental organization focused on operating meteorological satellites.
The last round of investment, starting in 2015, built the company's Innovation Center as a centerpiece of the Darmstadt campus, which opened in 2018. The main HQ is also home to the largest of Merck's eight global R&D centers.
This investment came out of talks between company executives and employee representatives.
"We conducted intensive negotiations and in some cases had strong debates," said Michael Fletterich, chairman of German Merck's works council, in a March 20 statement. "Ultimately, with the site agreement we achieved a good outcome that benefits employees and sustainably strengthens the future viability of the site."
In a statement, the company also said they agreed to a voluntary leave program and a bridge model for early transitions to retirement.