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Merck Begins Tender Offer to Acquire Acceleron Pharma Inc.

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KENILWORTH, N.J., October 12, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, is commencing today, through a subsidiary, a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of Acceleron Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: XLRN). On Sept. 30, 2021, Merck announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Acceleron.

Upon the successful closing of the tender offer, stockholders of Acceleron will receive $180 in cash for each share of Acceleron common stock validly tendered and not validly withdrawn in the offer, without interest and less any required tax withholding. Following the purchase of shares in the tender offer, Acceleron will become a subsidiary of Merck.

Merck will file today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") a tender offer statement on Schedule TO, which provides the terms of the tender offer. Additionally, Acceleron will file with the SEC a solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14D-9 that includes the recommendation of the Acceleron board of directors that their stockholders accept the tender offer and tender their shares.

The tender offer will expire at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Nov. 10, 2021, unless extended in accordance with the merger agreement and the applicable rules and regulations of the SEC. The closing of the tender offer is subject to certain conditions, including the tender of shares representing at least a majority of the total number of Acceleron’s outstanding shares, receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, and other customary conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

About Merck

For over 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Important Information About the Tender Offer

This press release is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell any shares of the common stock of Acceleron Pharma Inc. ("Acceleron") or any other securities, nor is it a substitute for the tender offer materials described herein. A tender offer statement on Schedule TO, including an offer to purchase, a letter of transmittal and related documents, will be filed today by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. ("Merck") and Astros Merger Sub, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), and a solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14D-9 will be filed by Acceleron with the SEC.

INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ CAREFULLY BOTH THE TENDER OFFER MATERIALS (INCLUDING AN OFFER TO PURCHASE, A RELATED LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL AND CERTAIN OTHER TENDER OFFER DOCUMENTS) AND THE SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT ON SCHEDULE 14D-9 REGARDING THE OFFER, AS THEY MAY BE AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISION REGARDING TENDERING THEIR SECURITIES.

Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the Offer to Purchase, the related Letter of Transmittal, certain other tender offer documents and the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement (when available) and other documents filed with the SEC at the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov or by directing such requests to the Information Agent for the offer, which will be named in the tender offer statement. In addition, Merck and Acceleron file annual, quarterly and current reports and other information with the SEC, which are available to the public from commercial document-retrieval services and at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Merck may be obtained at no charge on Merck’s internet website at www.merck.com or by contacting Merck at 2000 Galloping Hill Road, Kenilworth, N.J. 07033 or (908) 740-4000. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Acceleron may be obtained at no charge on Acceleron’s internet website at www.acceleronpharma.com or by contacting Acceleron at 128 Sidney Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 or (617) 649-9200.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the "company") includes statements that are not statements of historical fact, or "forward-looking statements," including with respect to the company’s proposed acquisition of Acceleron. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the ability of the company and Acceleron to complete the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement, including the parties’ ability to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the offer contemplated thereby and the other conditions set forth in the merger agreement, statements about the expected timetable for completing the transaction, the company’s and Acceleron’s beliefs and expectations and statements about the benefits sought to be achieved in the company’s proposed acquisition of Acceleron, the potential effects of the acquisition on both the company and Acceleron, the possibility of any termination of the merger agreement, as well as the expected benefits and success of Acceleron’s product candidates. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees that the conditions to the closing of the proposed transaction will be satisfied on the expected timetable or at all, with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, uncertainties as to the timing of the offer and the subsequent merger; uncertainties as to how many of Acceleron’s stockholders will tender their shares in the offer; the risk that competing offers or acquisition proposals will be made; the possibility that various conditions to the consummation of the merger and the offer contemplated thereby may not be satisfied or waived; the effects of disruption from the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement and the impact of the announcement and pendency of the transactions on Acceleron’s business; the risk that stockholder litigation in connection with the offer or the merger may result in significant costs of defense, indemnification and liability; general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the SEC available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211012005308/en/

Contacts

Media Contacts:

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Melissa Moody
(215) 407-3536

Investor Contacts:

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(908) 740-6582