Talecris-Grifols merger wins preliminary FTC approval

Talecris Biotherapeutics’ (NASDAQ:TLCR) $4 billion acquisition by Spanish company Grifols (MCE:GRF) looks like it will finally win regulatory approval.

Barcelona-based Grifols said Monday that it has reached a preliminary agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that grants approval of the deal, but also calls for both blood therapeutics companies to sell certain assets.

The consent agreement is still subject to approval by FTC commissioners. FTC officials had been concerned that the acquisition of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based Talecris would reduce competition and raise prices for drugs in the blood therapeutics market.


To satisfy FTC concerns, Talecris and Grifols agreed to sell the Talecris fractionation facility in Melville, New York to Italian biopharmaceutical company Kedrion. Grifols must also sell to Kedrion the Talecris hemophilia product Koate, as well as two Talecris plasma collection centers.

Kedrion also develops plasma-derived products, though it is a smaller player in the blood products market. The consent agreement calls for Grifols to enter a contract manufacturing agreement supporting certain Kedrion products that will be sold in the United States.

The consent agreement moves the Talecris acquisition further than a 2008 bid by Australian company CSL Limited to buy the North Carolina biopharmaceutical company. The FTC raised antitrust concerns in 2009 as it blocked a proposed $3.1 billion acquisition by CSL, the No. 2 company in the blood therapeutics space.

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