January 25, 2017 / 3:20 PM / 6 months ago

EU clears Abbott acquisition of Alere subject to divestments

2 Min Read

Abbott's milk powder products are displayed on a shelf at a supermarket in Beijing August 7, 2013.Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators cleared Abbott Laboratories' (ABT.N) proposed $5.8 billion acquisition of diagnostic test maker Alere (ALR.N) on Wednesday, subject to the divestment of some of Alere's operations.

However, Abbott said last month it had moved to terminate the proposed acquisition citing a "substantial loss" in the value of Alere since they struck a deal a year ago.

The European Commission, which is in charge of competition policy in the European Union, said there were overlaps in analyzers used in testing of blood gases and cardiac markers.

The Commission said it had accepted Abbott's offer to divest Alere's global Epoc, Triage and BNP reagents businesses.

"Doctors and patients worldwide rely on fast and accurate tests to detect and monitor medical conditions. Today's decision ensures that they will continue to benefit from choice and competitive prices in the fast developing market for small and portable test analyzers," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Julia Fioretti

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