NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Germany's Merck KGaA today announced the completion of its $17 billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, following approval from the European Commission.

The deal creates a science sector giant that will "cover every step of the biotech production chain," Merck said in a statement. The company will have around 50,000 employees in 67 countries, working at 72 manufacturing sites worldwide, with combined pro forma full-year life science sales of €4.6 billion in 2014 and expected sales between €12.6 billion and €12.8 billion in 2015.

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