UK watchdog to probe Roche-Spark merger

Monday, 10. June 2019 08:41

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG revealed on Monday that United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation into its $4.3 billion acquisition bid for United States-based firm Spark Therapeutics, while the US Federal Trade Commission requested more information from both companies in relation to the pending takeover.

"The investigation will determine whether the CMA considers it has jurisdiction over the acquisition; and, if so, whether the CMA considers that the acquisition may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK," Roche said of CMA's investigation.

FTC's request delays the acquisition for 10 days until after Roche would comply with it. Since the offer expires on June 14, Roche has therefore extended it until July 31, it said in a statement. When the takeover deal was announced, the companies expected the transaction to be finalized by the end of the second quarter.

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