* Becton had said China approval was last hurdle for deal to close
* China asks Becton to sell global core needle biopsy devices
* U.S., EU regulators have also asked Becton to sell some units (Updates with conditions needed for the deal to close)
BEIJING, Dec 28 (Reuters) - China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday that it has conditionally approved the takeover by U.S. medical equipment supplier Becton Dickinson of its U.S. peer C R Bard, paving the way for the $24 billion deal to close.
Becton Dickinson said last week that Chinese regulators were the last hurdle it needed to cross in order to seal the cash-and-stock deal which will add Bard’s devices in the high-growth sectors of oncology and surgery to Becton Dickinson’s portfolio.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said it had approved the deal with the conditions that Becton Dickinson would sell its global core needle biopsy devices business and a tissue marker product currently being developed.
Becton Dickinson has already pledged to sell some businesses to gain approval from European Union antitrust authorities. It also agreed to sell Bard’s tunneled home drainage catheter system to allay U.S. regulators’ competition concerns.
It was not immediately clear if those businesses are the same ones that Chinese authorities want Becton to sell. (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)