Merck KGaA gets Europe okay for Sigma-Aldrich buy at last

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The European Commission has finally approved Merck KGaA’s planned acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, some nine months after the $17 billion deal was unveiled.

The transaction has also been cleared by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, following antitrust clearance in May by Japanese authorities. Approval has also been obtained in the USA, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, South Africa and Taiwan, which means the deal should go through by the middle of 2015.

To satisfy the conditions imposed by the EC, Sigma-Aldrich’s solvents and inorganics chemicals business in Europe will be sold as a fully integrated, stand-alone business. In September last year, Merck agreed to pay $140 cash per share, establishing the new company as “one of the leading players in the $130 billion global life science industry”.