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Abbott Gets European Clearance for Solvay Deal

From Associated Press (February 11, 2010)

NEW YORK -- European regulators gave Abbott Laboratories antitrust clearance to buy Solvay's pharmaceutical business for $6.6 billion, with certain sales conditions.

Under the clearance, Abbott will have to divest Solvay's cystic fibrosis testing business. European regulators cited concerns that the combination could harm competition in that market.

In September, Abbott said it would buy Solvay's pharmaceutical business in an effort to expand internationally and add to its product portfolio. Solvay, based in Belgium, is a chemical maker.

The buyout gives Abbott, which makes medical and pharmaceutical products, access to emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia along with new therapeutic areas, including hormone therapies and vaccines.

Shares of Abbott, based in North Chicago, Ill., rose 33 cents to $53.59 in afternoon trading.


Posted: February 2010