September 27, 2007 / 3:38 PM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 1-US FTC OKs Mylan buy of German Merck generics unit

(Adds details on drugs to be divested, FTC comments, stock prices)

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday it approved Mylan Laboratories Inc’s MYL.N acquisition of Merck KGaA’s (MRCG.DE) generics unit after the companies agreed to divest five drugs.

The companies will sell the five generic drugs to Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, the FTC said in a statement. The deal was valued at $6.6 billion when it was announced in May.

The drugs include four hypertension treatments: acebutolol hydrochloride, sotalol hydrochloride AF, guanfacine hydrochloride and nicardipine hydrochloride. The fifth drug is anti-arrhythmia medicine flecainide acetate.

Without the divestitures, Mylan’s purchase of Merck’s generics business “would result in reduced competition and higher prices for U.S. consumers of several important generic pharmaceuticals,” Jeffrey Schmidt, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement.

The agreement reached with the companies to sell the five drugs “will ensure that competition is maintained following completion of this acquisition,” Schmidt said.

Mylan shares rose 3.7 percent to $16.11 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Merck KGaA were down 4.3 percent in German trading. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine, editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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