The European Commission has conditionally cleared Zimmer’s acquisition of Biomet, paving the way for closure on the $13.35 billion deal by May.
The European Commission’s approval is on the condition that Zimmer find a buyer in Europe to divest itself of one elbow and two knee brands, under a “remedy package” submitted to regulators. The commission had expressed concern that the merger could drive up prices for certain implants in the European Economic Area.
The Japan Fair Trade Commission cleared the buy Wednesday. Both approvals are based on the divestiture of the three brands – the Zimmer Unicondylar Knee implant and Biomet’s Discovery Elbow, both across the European Economic Area, and Biomet’s Vanguard Complete Knee System in Denmark and Sweden.
Zimmer said today it expects to enter into such agreements “in the near term.”
The transaction still awaits clearance by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The Department of Justice extended for one year Biomet’s probation under a deferred prosecution agreement, stemming from allegations that Biomet helped bribe government officials in Mexico and Brazil.
Zimmer said today it expects to close the transaction in April, a little over one year after it broke the news of the buy.
(Story By The Times Union)