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1989 - Merger: Novo Nordisk Foundation created

Following several years of preparations, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is created on 12 January with the merger of Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium, the Nordisk Insulin Foundation and the Novo Foundation. The two operating companies Nordisk Gentofte A/S and Novo Industri A/S also merge to become Novo Nordisk A/S. The merger is one of the largest in Denmark. At the time of the merger, Nordisk has 11 foreign subsidiaries, 14 branches and 1450 employees, while Novo has subsidiaries and representative offices in 27 countries and 5900 employees.

The merger takes place despite many years of intense competition between the two competitors and tense relations, including during their court case over patent rights from 1938 to 1941. Ultimately, economic logic brings the parties together, with an important factor being the prospect of the creation of the single market in the new European Union from 1993 and the liberalization of global economy and trade. A press release at the time states that the merger “... will result in a company whose size will make it better prepared to survive in the extremely competitive global market ...”.

The photo shows the two new CEO's of Novo Nordisk A/S, Henry Brennum and Mads Øvlisen (right).