CSL and Talecris Biotherapeutics have decided to end their $3.1 billion merger agreement due to antitrust issues raised by FTC. As part of the agreement, CSL will pay Talecris a $75 million break fee, and the plasma supply contract the parties entered into in connection with the merger will remain in effect.
In August 2008 CSL offered to acquire Talecris with the aim of bolstering its plasma therapeutics operations. In May 2009 the FTC said that it would sue to stop CSL from buying Talecris because that would curb competition for medical treatments derived from blood plasma.
Though CSL initially intended to fight such a court case, it has now recanted. "As we have previously stated we fundamentally disagree with the FTC case and matters included in their complaint,” comments Brian McNamee, CEO and managing director of CSL. “Although we continue to believe in the many customer benefits and significant financial synergies that supported the transaction, CSL's board of directors did not believe that entering into a protracted litigation process with the FTC, with its inherent risks, substantial costs, and lengthy distraction of CSL management and staff from planning and running our businesses, would be in the best interests of our stakeholders."
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