GREENFIELD - Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) has entered into an agreement with Bayer AG (ETR: BAYN) to acquire its animal health business in a deal valued at $7.6 billion. If approved, it would double Elanco’s Companion Animal business and create the second-largest animal health company by revenue.

“Joining Elanco and Bayer Animal Health strengthens and accelerates our IPP strategy, transforms our portfolio with the addition of well-known pet brands, brings an increased presence in key emerging markets, expands innovation, and accelerates our margin expansion journey,” said Elanco Chief Executive Officer Jeff Simmons in a news release. 

Discussions of a possible merger between the two companies were first reported in July.

Elanco has made several acquisitions over the years, including last month when it completed its $245 million acquisition of Kansas-based Aratana Therapeutics. Elanco has also announced plans to acquire Montreal-based Prevtech Microbia Inc. in a $60 million deal.

Elanco was also involved in a massive deal in 2014 when its then-parent company, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY), acquired the animal health unit of Novartis AG for $5.4 billion.

Elanco was spun off from Lilly into its own publicly-traded company last year.