Roche pushes back Spark takeover again as regulatory review drags on

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen on a factory in Burgdorf near Bern November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche is pushing back its $4.3 billion takeover offer for gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics for a third time in recent months, this time until June 14, as a U.S. regulatory review of the deal drags on.

Roche and Spark are now due to refile their premerger notification on May 23, “in order to provide the government with additional time,” the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “The regulatory review of the transaction is ongoing, and the parties are actively working with the government to facilitate that process.”

Roche has said the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) needed even more time to complete its review.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Tassilo Hummel