Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) has announced that it has now obtained antitrust clearance from the United States Federal Trade Commission for its planned acquisition of life science company Sigma-Aldrich (MO, USA).
In September 2014 the two companies announced that they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck KGaA would acquire Sigma-Aldrich for US$ 17.0 billion. The expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act in December 2014 brings the merger one step closer to completion. The transaction now remains subject to a number of other conditions, including regulatory approval in other jurisdictions. According to Sigma-Aldrich, shareholders of the company approved the acquisition at a special meeting held in St. Louis (MO,USA) on 22 December, 2014.
Commenting on the merger agreement, Karl-Ludwig Kley, Chairman of Merck’s Executive Board said: “One of the world’s key industries two companies that fit perfectly together have found each other to present a much broader product offering to our global customers in research, pharma and biopharma manufacturing and diagnostic and testing labs. Kley added that, “the combination of Merck and Sigma-Aldrich will secure stable growth and profitability in an industry that is driven by trends such as the globalization of research and manufacturing.”