Abbott's embattled Alere acquisition clears regulatory hurdle in Europe
January 26, 2017
The European Commission has approved the proposed tie-up between Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) and Alere (NYSE: ALR), conditional on Alere divesting its Epoc and Triage testing units and its BNP reagents business. Abbott originally agreed last February to pay $56 per share for the clinical diagnostics company, a total expected equity value of $5.8 billion; in December, however, Abbott moved to kill the deal after Alere became the subject of several US DOJ and SEC investigations, including potential bribery and fraud allegations echoing those leveled against Theranos. Any excitement around the deal cooled not long after the ink dried on the agreement.
Nonetheless, Alere remains "highly confident that the merger will close according to the terms of the agreement," according to a statement by CEO and president Namal Nawana. Abbott CEO Miles White, meanwhile, didn't mention the deal during the company's latest earnings call, according to the Chicago Tribune. The trial for Abbott's suit to abort the deal is set for April 21. The Alere acquisition was part of a deal-filled past year for the company, including the $25 billion acquisition of cardiovascular device maker St. Jude Medical in a deal closed earlier this month. Abbott reported worldwide sales of $5.3 billion in 4Q 2016, up nearly 4% on an operational basis.