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BASEL, SWITZERLAND – Roche Holding AG received official permission from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its proposed acquisition of Corange Ltd., the parent company of Boehringer Mannheim and DePuy.
BASEL, SWITZERLAND â Roche Holding AG received official permission from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its proposed acquisition of Corange Ltd., the parent company of Boehringer Mannheim and DePuy.
FTC approval, however, is couched between two conditions. The takeover must not give Roche a dominant position in the thrombolytic market, the FTC insisted, and Roche must sell Boehringer Mannheim's drugs-of-abuse-testing business after the takeover.
To meet these requirements, Roche will sell the U.S. and Canadian rights to Boehringer Mannheim's myocardial infarction medicine, Retavase,Â® to Centocor Inc., and will seek a buyer for Boehringer Mannheim's CEDIA line of abuse-testing drugs.
The merger, first suggested last spring, was cleared by the European Commission, the agency that enforces antitrust policies for the European Union, earlier in February. Switzerland, Canada and Australia had also indicated their approval of the merger.
The European Union Commission reached its decision approximately three weeks ahead of the FTC and imposed some of its own terms. First, the commission said, Roche must make use of the technology in its in vitro diagnostics accessible to additional competitors. Terms of the approval called for a licensing agreement covering all diagnostic applications as well as the use of PCR in diagnosing individual diseases. Second, Roche must divest its rights to the Cobas MIRAÂ® line of clinical chemistry analyzers in the European Union. The company may retain its rights to the business in all other markets worldwide, the commission allowed.
The acquisition, which was made formally possible 10 working days after FTC approval, should position Roche as a global leader in diagnostics. It will also strengthen its pharmaceutical division, the foundation of Roche's operations. According to company statements, the pharmaceutical division accounts for more than 60% of business. In 1997, for example, it accounted for more than $7.9 billion of the company's approximate $13.2 billion in consolidated sales. PR