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Abbott offers concessions in EU review of Solvay transaction
Bloomberg News

bbott Laboratories offered concessions to the European Union in a bid to win approval for its $6.8 billion purchase of Solvay SA's drug unit after regulators had concerns about a diagnostic test.

 

Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

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Published: 1/22/2010 7:26 AM | Updated: 1/22/2010 11:48 AM

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Abbott Laboratories offered concessions to the European Union in a bid to win approval for its $6.8 billion purchase of Solvay SA's drug unit after regulators had concerns about a diagnostic test.

The European Commission in Brussels extended its review of the transaction until Feb. 11, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The regulator didn't specify the concessions.

The transaction, announced in September, will increase Abbott's pharmaceutical revenue by 18 percent and give it a bigger presence in emerging markets. The Solvay unit will bring more than $3 billion in annual product sales, three-quarters of which will be from outside the U.S., Abbott, based in Lake County's Libertyville Township, said at the time.

"European concerns are about a diagnostic test," Erik De Leye, a spokesman for Solvay SA in Brussels, said by phone. "It's a small element and doesn't jeopardize our goal of completing the transaction in the first quarter."

De Leye said he had no knowledge of the concessions Abbott offered to win approval for the purchase.

Fiona Olivier, a spokeswoman at Abbott's Maidenhead, England, office, didn't immediately respond to a call for comment.