Merck KgaA says Sigma-Aldrich to divest certain businesses to fulfill EU approval for acquisition

Merck KGaA announced Tuesday that Sigma-Aldrich agreed to sell its branded solvents and inorganics business in Europe to Honeywell for around 105 million euros ($119 million) to fulfill EU commitments related to its $17-billion takeover by the German company. "This is another key step towards completing the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich," remarked Merck executive board member Bernd Reckmann.

In June, the EU granted conditional approval of Merck's purchase of Sigma-Aldrich contingent on certain commitments, which included the companies agreeing to divest parts of Sigma-Aldrich's solvents and inorganics business in Europe, including its manufacturing assets in Seelze, Germany.

The deal, which was approved by Sigma-Aldrich shareholders in December 2014, has also gained antitrust approval in the US, China, Japan, Brazil and several other regions.

Merck said Tuesday that it continues to expect the transaction to close by the end of November.

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