EU antitrust regulators have cleared Pfizer’s £41.5 billion ($68bn) purchase of rival Wyeth after the buyer agreed to divest itself of some of its European interests.
Hoped-for similar approvals in China and the US are still pending, although the company says it is looking to finalise the deal later this year.
Pfizer reports that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has extended its review of the takeover beyond the initial 30 days, while in the US, a 90-day regulatory review is continuing. Wyeth shareholders have yet to signal their approval.
New York-based Pfizer is already the world’s largest drug maker by revenue, and the acquisition of Wyeth, the twelfth-largest last year, must be approved by regulators and governments on several continents.
The company says that it anticipates finalising the deal at the end of the third quarter or beginning of the fourth quarter. Pfizer stock slipped 12 cents to $14.95 when the news was announced. New Jersey-based Wyeth fell 7 cents to $46.10.
Copyright Press Association 2009