EU Approves Merck KGaA’s $17 Bn Acquisition of Sigma Aldrich

Merck KGaA has received approval from the European Commission for its planned $17 billion acquisition of US-based life science company Sigma-Aldrich. The European Union (EU) clearance, which is subject to certain conditions, follows the recent antitrust approvals in Japan and by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. In addition, Merck KGaA has already secured antitrust clearance from the US, Taiwan, South Africa, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.

As part of the EU commitments, Merck KGaA and Sigma-Aldrich have agreed to sell parts of Sigma-Aldrich's solvents and inorganics business in Europe. These include its manufacturing assets in Seelze, Germany, where most of the solvents and inorganics sold by Sigma-Aldrich in Europe are manufactured. In addition, the divestiture of solvents and inorganics sold by Sigma-Aldrich worldwide under the Fluka, Riedel-de-Haen, and Hydranal brands as well as a temporary license to the Sigma-Aldrich brand for the supply of solvents and inorganics in the European Economic Area have been agreed. The commitments also include the transfer of customer information and a solution to ensure a temporary channel to the market.

Based on the recent clearances, Merck KGaA said it will continue to work toward a mid-2015 completion of the transaction. The closing remains subject to certain other conditions, including remaining antitrust clearances from Brazil's Council for Economic Defense as well as from the competition authorities of Israel and Korea.

Source: Merck KGaA

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