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Merck KGaA Investment in Portugal at Risk as Bills Are Unpaid

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July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Merck KGaA’s future research and development investments in Portugal are at risk because of unpaid hospital bills, Gangolf Schrimpf, a spokesman for the Darmstadt, Germany-based chemicals and drugmaker, said today, confirming a report in Financial Times Deutschland.

The pharmaceutical industry has more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) of open bills at Portuguese public hospitals, the newspaper reported, citing Fritz Sacher, the company’s managing director in the country. Schrimpf declined to comment on how much the company is owed.

Future investments at risk could be in the double-digit million-euro range, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allison Connolly in Frankfurt at aconnolly4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net.