Danaher gets conditional South Korean regulatory nod for $21 billion GE biopharma unit deal

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's antitrust watchdog has approved Danaher Corp's DHR.N proposed $21.4 billion acquisition of General Electric's GE.N biopharma division on condition that they sell certain assets to address monopoly concerns.

The U.S. medical equipment maker Danaher got conditional EU approval in December for the deal after agreeing to sell five businesses to address worries about competition.

GE GE.N agreed a year ago to sell its biopharma business to Danaher in the biggest strategy reversal under its Chief Executive Lawrence Culp.

“The merger of the two U.S. firms will likely have impact on South Korea’s bioprocessing market, which heavily relies on imports of foreign goods,” the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said in a statement, citing potential price hikes and monopoly concerns over the merger.

The KFTC said the companies need to sell eight bioprocessing product assets to address monopoly concerns.

“If either GE or Danaher Corp dose not follow the KFTC’s measures, the South Korea watchdog would take punitive measures including filing criminal charges and imposing fines until they fulfill our requests,” an official at the KFTC said.

Both Danaher and GE were not available for comment outside normal business hours in the United States.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Himani Sarkar