Roche disclosed Monday in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it will extend the deadline for closing its $4.3-billion acquisition of Spark Therapeutics by three months. Roche CEO Severin Schwan explained that the decision will grant the drugmakers "additional time to clear the transaction" if necessary.
The news comes as regulators seek further information on the purchase, with the US Federal Trade Commission last month requesting additional information and documentary material in connection with its review. At the time, Roche noted that as a result, its offer to acquire Spark has been extended from June 14 to the end of July. Meanwhile, the UK Competition and Markets Authority has also opened an investigation into the proposed transaction to determine if it has jurisdiction over the deal.
In a letter sent to Spark employees, Schwan said "Roche and Spark have decided to amend the merger agreement to give both companies the right to extend the agreement until April 30, 2020, instead of January 31, 2020." Schwan continued "while we still expect this transaction to close in 2019, we want to ensure that we proactively identify and remove any potential future obstacles to achieving this outcome."
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