UK competition regulator is examining AstraZeneca (AZN.L) ‘s proposed $ 39 billion takeover of US company Alexion (ALXN.O) to determine whether it could reduce competition in Britain or over other markets.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Tuesday it was inviting comments from any interested party on the deal to help with its assessment, a routine carried out for major transactions, and set the deadline of June 3 for all submissions.
Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca agreed to buy Alexion in December as part of its biggest ever contract in rare disease immunology bet and boost business, which includes a unit fast-growing cancer drugs and a major COVID-19 vaccine. Read more
AstraZeneca’s European peers, Roche (ROG.S) and Novartis (NOVN.S), also have a portfolio of drugs for rare diseases and immunology products.
The CMA review is part of an initial analysis that the regulator calls “phase 1”, and is expected to be completed by July 21, he said, adding that the CMA expects publish its decision afterwards if the agreement was authorized or returned. to a deeper “phase 2” probe.
“The start of the UK CMA’s formal review is another important step towards closing the proposed acquisition, which we still expect to occur in the third quarter of 2021,” said a representative from AstraZeneca.
Shareholders of the Cambridge, UK-based company approved the proposed deal at a general meeting earlier this month where 99.89% of votes cast were in favor of approving it.
In April, the United States approved the deal, as did other countries including Canada, Brazil and Russia. Regulatory approvals from regions such as Japan and the European Union are pending.
AstraZeneca, which was 0.3% lower in stock at 8127 pence at 11:12 a.m. GMT, hopes an improved version of the best-selling drug Alexion and other rare disease drugs will help boost its position in China and other emerging markets.
Alexion, based in Boston, Mass., Was unavailable for comment outside of business hours.
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