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ASTRA/MERCK AFFAIRS SIGNS LEASE FOR PENNSYLVANIA HEADQUARTERS SITE; 'SUNNY DAY' LOAN FOR PROJECT APPROVED BY LEGISLATURE

 ASTRA/MERCK AFFAIRS SIGNS LEASE FOR PENNSYLVANIA HEADQUARTERS SITE;
 'SUNNY DAY' LOAN FOR PROJECT APPROVED BY LEGISLATURE
 WEST POINT, Pa., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Astra/Merck Affairs, a unit of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), today announced the signing of a lease on the construction site for its new headquarters building in Chesterbrook Corporate Center, Chester County, Pa.
 The three-story, 130,000-square-foot office building located at 725 Chesterbrook Blvd., Wayne, Pa., will house administrative offices. Construction is expected to be completed early in 1993.
 A $4.5 million loan to help Astra/Merck with the construction project -- included in an appropriations bill requested by Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey -- was approved recently by both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The funding, known as a "Sunny Day" loan, will be made available to Astra/Merck shortly, after the measure is signed by the governor, said Wayne Yetter, general manager of Astra/Merck Affairs.
 "The Astra/Merck management team and members of the Response Team of Gov. Casey worked together to locate the headquarters for this significant new business in the Commonwealth," Yetter said. "The state's commitment of $4.5 million in Sunny Day Funds was a significant factor in the final decision to locate this new venture in Pennsylvania. We hope to continue to work in partnership with the Commonwealth to contribute to its continued economic strength. The siting of the Astra/Merck unit in Pennsylvania is another example of the increasing importance of the research-based pharmaceutical industry to the Commonwealth's economic future."
 Under terms of a 1982 agreement, Merck, a worldwide health products company located in Rahway, N.J., received the right to license and market in the United States a number of compounds under development by AB Astra, a Swedish pharmaceutical firm. The agreement provides for the establishment of a joint venture when revenues from these products reach a specific level.
 "When that level is reached, steps will be taken to build a joint venture," Yetter said.
 Astra/Merck Affairs was formed by Merck to manage the establishment of the joint venture.
 The building for the new joint venture will house offices for sales and marketing, drug development, information technology, financial services, legal and human resources. When the headquarters facility is opened, the firm will employ some 135 people, with the payroll ultimately exceeding 300 by the start of 1996, Yetter said.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: Roy W. Walker of Merck, 215-661-3680, or at home, 215-355-5968/
 (MRK) CO: Astra/Merck Affairs; Merck & Co., Inc.; AB Astra ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:


LJ -- PH004 -- 2208 02/25/92 09:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
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