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Merck Secures All Antitrust Approvals for Sigma-Aldrich Acquisition


Merck announced that approvals have been secured from all relevant jurisdictions for its planned acquisition of U.S.-based life science company Sigma-Aldrich. Unconditional approval from Brazil's Council for Economic Defense (CADE), which was the final outstanding country, was received. This clearance becomes effective after a common waiting period of 15 days. It follows recently received antitrust approvals from the competition authorities of Israel (IAA) and South Korea (KFTC).

Merck expects a completion of the transaction in the third quarter 2015. The closing of the transaction is still subject to the Commitments made to the European Commission, following its conditional approval of the transaction, announced on June 15, 2015. As a result, Merck and Sigma-Aldrich have agreed to sell parts of Sigma-Aldrich's solvents and inorganics business in Europe.

"Securing antitrust approvals in all relevant jurisdictions brings us very close to our big goal: transforming the life science industry with an enhanced product portfolio, greater capabilities and a broader geographic reach," said Bernd Reckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck. "We are now working with all related parties on the divestments as agreed with the European Commission in order to swiftly complete the transaction."

On September 22, 2014, Merck and Sigma-Aldrich had announced they entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17.0 billion (€13.1 billion), establishing one of the leading players in the $130 billion global life science industry. The acquisition is a key element in Merck's "Fit for 2018" transformation and growth program aimed at strengthening the company's three growth platforms: healthcare, life science and performance materials.

The combined company will be able to serve life science customers around the world with a highly attractive set of established brands and an efficient supply chain that can support the delivery of more than 300,000 products. In the Laboratory & Academia business, together Merck's existing life science business Merck Millipore and Sigma-Aldrich will offer their customers a complementary range of products across laboratory chemicals, biologics and reagents. In pharma and biopharma production, Sigma-Aldrich will complement Merck Millipore's existing products and capabilities with additions along the entire value chain of drug production and validation.

Source: Merck KGaA