Merck and Schering-Plough receive approval for merger from EC, US, Swiss and Canadian regulators

30 October 2009

Pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) announced last week that they had received clearance for the merger from the European Commission (EC) under the EC Merger Regulation.

Yesterday they announced that they had also received approval from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Swiss Competition Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau for their proposed merger.

The companies said that the US FTC terminated the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and cleared the pending merger. The companies also stated that the Canadian Competition Bureau terminated the waiting period under the Canadian Competition Act and cleared the proposed transaction.

Richard T. Clark, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck said, "As we work with regulators on the remaining approvals necessary for the close, we stand ready to serve patient needs as a new global healthcare leader."

The transaction remains subject to approval from other regulators, including China and Mexico. Merck and Schering-Plough continue to expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.

From a low in March of around 21, The Merck stock price reached a yearly high of just under 34 on 19 Oct but has since fallen to just over 31, by close on Oct 29.

Schering Plough has also climbed steadily this year, reaching a high of 29.9 on Oct 20, and fell to 28.4 on Oct 29.


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