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EC approves Sanofi's deal for Boehringer's consumer business

Regulator passes the acquisition, subject to the French firm divesting some products

Sanofi 

Sanofi's acquisition of Boehringer Ingelheim's consumer health business has been approved by European regulators, subject to the French firm divesting a handful of products.

The transaction is one part of a €21.8bn ($25bn) asset swap that will hand Boehringer's consumer interests to Sanofi and pass Sanofi's animal health business to the German company.

Assessing the consumer health part of the deal the European Commission had no competition concerns about most of the products involved, with the exception of a few markets where both companies have strong brands that face little other competition.

Consequently it voiced concerns that over-the-counter treatments, including a headache treatment marketed in France and antispasmodics available in Eastern Europe, could have raised prices and reduced customer choice.

Also at issue were an anti-constipation treatment in the Czech Republic and a chesty cough remedy in Greece and Ireland.

To address these issues Sanofi plans to divest either its own or Boehringer's products in a process that will include the products' relevant marketing authorisations, customer information and brands, and personnel.

“This package of commitments addresses all of the Commission's competition concerns,” the European Commission said in a statement. 

The Commission had originally investigated the deal's impact on several therapeutic areas, with a particular focus on treatments for gastro-intestinal problems, coughs and colds, pain and mobility, cardiac stimulants, vitamins and wellbeing.

The companies must now wait for the animal health part of their swap, which will see Sanofi's Merial business acquired by Boehringer, to be approved. 

On finalising contracts for the deal in June the firms said they expected the transaction to close before the end of this year.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

8th August 2016

From: Regulatory

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