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European Commission approves Merck’s $17 billion Sigma-Aldrich buy

June 16, 2015
Life sciences
The European Commission said on Monday it had approved German drugmaker Merck’s $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich Corp following the U.S. company’s pledges to sell assets in Germany.
 
In May, Merck said the European Commission expressed concerns “of a limited nature” over its biggest ever takeover. Merck submitted concessions on May 22, according to a filing on the EU executive’s website.
 
“The decision is conditional on the divestment of certain Sigma-Aldrich assets, including manufacturing assets in Germany, the rights to certain brands and a sales force,” the Commission said in a statement.
 
“The Commission had concerns that the merged entity would have faced insufficient competitive pressure from the remaining players in the markets for certain laboratory chemicals, with a risk of price rises. The commitments offered by the companies address these concerns.”
 
(Reporting by Robin Emmott, editing by David Evans)

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