FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German healthcare group Fresenius SE (FREG.DE) said the planned takeover of Akorn (AKRX.O), a U.S. maker of liquid generic drugs, might not be completed before next year as the U.S. antitrust review could take longer than expected.
“The FTC review continues. It is still our goal to close the transaction this year but it is possible that it will take us until next year,” a company spokesman said.
Akorn’s business has deteriorated since Fresenius struck the acquisition agreement in April, valuing the maker of medical creams, ophthalmic drugs and oral liquids at $4.75 billion (3.6 billion pounds).
Akorn’s operating income has slumped on supply disruptions and competition for a range of drugs.
The Fresenius spokesman reiterated that the rationale behind the deal remained intact. The German group has said adding Akorn will widen its product range offered to hospitals and pharmacies.
The spokesman said Fresenius Chief Executive Stephan Sturm provided new guidance on the timing of the closure when asked about it at an analysts conference on Tuesday.
Fresenius had said in April it expected the deal to be wrapped up early in 2018 but later in the year brought the expected closure date forward to late 2017.
Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Jason Neely