March 19, 2020 / 11:43 PM / 19 days ago

Danaher wins U.S. approval to buy GE Biopharma, with conditions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Danaher Corp has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy General Electric’s biopharmaceutical business, GE Biopharma, for $21.4 billion on condition it sell some assets, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

South Korea’s antitrust watchdog approved the proposed acquisition in February on condition that they sell certain assets to address monopoly concerns. The EU approved it in December.

GE Chief Executive Lawrence Culp said the deal was a “critical milestone” in efforts to transform the company.

“The value from this transaction will fortify our considerable sources to de-risk our balance sheet and continue to solidify our financial position,” Culp said in a statement.

Danaher and GE said they expect the deal to close on March 31.

To approve the acquisition, the FTC required the companies to sell 10 of its products to German-based Sartorius AG.

The products include microcarrier beads, which provide a surface to grow cells, five chromatography products and a filtration system used in cell growth, among others.

The five-member commission was split on whether the deal should be approved, with three Republicans voting yes and the two Democrats voting no.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Sandra Maler, Diane Craft and Cynthia Osterman

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