Ivy Animal Health, Inc., will become an operating unit of Eli Lilly and Company's Elanco Animal Health division under an acquisition agreement announced today by Lilly. The transaction is expected to close near the end of the second quarter of 2007, contingent upon regulatory approval.

Privately held Ivy was established in 1982 and includes four divisions -- Ivy Laboratories, VetLife, Ivy Natural Solutions and AgSpan -- and will continue to operate from its current location in Overland Park, KS, a Lilly release says. Upon deal closing, Ivy will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly.

Jeffrey Simmons, Elanco executive director of global strategy, research and development and operations, says the acquisition of Ivy offers a number of strategic opportunities for Elanco, including VetLife's current differentiated implant product line, Ivy Natural Solutions' current and future products and services, and AgSpan's Benchmark Knowledge Services. "Our product lines are complimentary, and together they deliver cumulative value to our beef-producing customers," he says.

Within its Benchmark® Performance Program, Ivy Animal Health maintains extensive databases containing live cattle and carcass performance data as well as nutritional, financial and health information on more than 60 million animals, and meat-quality data on more than 26 million carcasses, its Web site says.

Richard Shuler will continue to serve as president of Ivy. He points out Ivy and Elanco's decade-long business partnership on both the domestic and international fronts, and says that relationship "has now been formalized by this acquisition." He calls it "a synergistic partnership that is beneficial to both parties and, more importantly, to the global animal stakeholders we serve."

More info on Lilly is available at www.lilly.com, about Elanco at www.elanco.com, and Ivy at www.ivyanimalhealth.com.