* U.S. had raised antitrust concerns
* Avery-Dennison still interested in selling unit
Oct 3 Diversified U.S. manufacturer 3M Co
on Wednesday dropped its effort to buy Avery-Dennison
Corp's office and consumer products business, about a
month after U.S. regulators raised anti-trust concerns over the
3M had originally planned to fight the Justice Department's
objections to the $550 million takeover, with Chief Financial
Officer David Meline telling investors on Sept. 19 that the
company was still looking for a way to get the deal done.
"We are disappointed with this turn of events," said Jesse
Sigh, a 3M vice president who oversees its office supplies arm,
in a statement on Wednesday.
Separately, Avery said it will continue to pursue a sale of
The U.S. on Sept. 4 had threatened a lawsuit to block the
deal. The Justice Department said the proposed acquisition
"would have substantially lessened competition in the sale of
labels and sticky notes."
Consumers would have seen higher prices and reduced
innovation as a result, the department said.
The proposed deal, announced in January, was to bring
together two well-known consumer product families including 3M's
Post-It notes and Avery's HI-LITERS markers.
In the meantime, St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M has pushed
ahead with other takeovers, this week reaching an $860 million
deal to buy industrial ceramics company Ceradyne Inc,
its biggest deal since Inge Thulin became chief executive
officer of 3M in February.
Thulin has said 3M will do fewer, but larger deals, on his
watch than it did under predecessor George Buckley.
Avery shares were down 7.8 percent after the bell. They
closed at $31.45 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
3M shares closed up 24 cents at $93.78 on the same exchange.