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Elanco Animal Health wins U.S. approval to buy Bayer unit

Elanco to shed cattle pour-on brand, others for approval

Elanco Animal Health CEO Jeff Simmons speaks during an interview at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Sept. 20, 2018. (Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

Washington | Reuters — Elanco Animal Health has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Bayer’s animal health business on condition that it sell assets to treat three ailments, two in dogs and one in cattle, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

The deal was valued at $7.6 billion when it was announced in August 2019 (all figures US$).

The FTC action was the final antitrust approval needed, and the proposed transaction is on track to close in early August, Elanco said in a statement.

To win antitrust approval, the FTC said it required the companies to sell assets related to oral treatments to kill fleas on dogs, an inflammation of dogs’ inner ears and some pour-on cattle insecticides which control multiple insects.

The deal won EU antitrust approval in June and Canada’s conditional approval earlier this month.

“This approval marks the near-final step in fulfilling our vision of bringing together two dedicated animal health companies,” Elanco CEO Jeff Simmons said in a statement.

The transaction would create the world’s second largest animal health company, with analysts expecting the $44 billion animal health sector to grow by five to six per cent per year, driven by an increase in livestock farming and spending on pets.

The FTC said that Elanco agreed to sell its canine ear medicine Osurnia to Dechra Pharmaceuticals, its dog flea medicine Capstar to PetIQ Inc., and its U.S. cattle pour-on insecticide treatment StandGuard to Neogen Corp.

— Reporting for Reuters by Diane Bartz.

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