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European Authorities Grant Conditional Approval for Merck's Acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The European Commission has granted conditional clearance of Merck KGaA's planned acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, the firms said today.

To satisfy the conditions for clearance by the EC, the firms agreed that Sigma-Aldrich would sell parts of its solvents and inorganics chemicals business in the European Economic Area as a fully integrated, standalone business.

The firms announced last September that Germany's Merck would acquire Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion. The deal gained US antitrust clearance a few months later, and also has been cleared by authorities in Japan, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, South Africa, Taiwan, and China.

The acquisition still requires antitrust clearance in Brazil, Israel, and South Korea, but the companies still aim to close the deal in mid-2015.