(Corrects first sentence to clarify that CRRT unit represents 2
percent of Baxter's renal product sales, instead of nearly 20
percent of Baxter's total sales.)
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, July 10 EU antitrust regulators will
approve a $4 billion bid by Baxter International Inc for
Sweden's Gambro AB after the U.S. company offered to sell a unit
that makes up 2 percent of its renal product sales, two people
familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The deal, which Baxter announced in December last year,
would make it the second-biggest manufacturer in the dialysis
market, a market set to expand in line with rising obesity and
Gambro, based in Lund, Sweden, is one of the largest makers
of equipment for hemodialysis, which is usually done in a
hospital or clinic. Baxter's machines are used for peritoneal
dialysis which can be done at home. The U.S. firm also makes
drug infusion pumps and blood therapy products.
"The European Commission is expected to clear the deal based
on the remedy," said one of the people who declined to be
identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Baxter has pledged to sell its global continuous renal
replacement therapy (CRRT) business including contracts,
customer orders and manufacturing facilities. It has submitted
the same offer to regulators in Australia and New Zealand.
The EU executive is scheduled to decide on the deal by July
22. The Commission's spokesman for competition policy, Antoine
Colombani, did not immediately respond to an email asking for
Baxter and Gambro compete against U.S.-based DaVita and
Germany's Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co KGaA, the
biggest player in the hemodialysis market.
Baxter is buying Gambro from Swedish investment holding
company Investor AB and its partly owned private
equity company EQT.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Martin Santa and Elaine