CSL to fight FTC on Talecris merger

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Blood plasma company CSL says it's prepared to fight the Federal Trade Commission's decision to block its $3.1 billion acquisition of rival Talecris Biotherapeutics, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. At a press conference yesterday, CSL CEO Bruan McNamee said the company offered "substantial" remedies to address the FTC's concerns, which the agency failed to take into account when making its decisions. Proposed concessions included the divestment of 20 to 25 of 150 plasma collection centres in the U.S., as well as some blood products. "We're surprised and disappointed by this decision, and we certainly intend to contest the US FTC's decision,'' he said. "We remain committed to the transaction.

CSL met with the FTC and revealed earlier this week that the agency would likely block the acquisition. On Wednesday, the FTC announced it would indeed challenge the pact. "The deal would be illegal and would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. markets for four plasma-derivative protein therapies," the agency said. According to SMH, the Talecris merger would give CSL roughly 25 percent of the world's plasma therapy market and half of the immunoglobulin market. In the U.S. market alone, CSL's would have more than 60 percent of the human plasma market, with only one competitor.

CSL insists that if the merger goes through, it would still have four strong competitors and a number of international blood plasma manufacturers had plans to bring their products to the U.S. market. "We believe this remains a highly competitive industry, and we believe that when the facts are put in front of a judge, we will be able to present the strong efficiency case and the competitive nature of the sector.''

- read the Sydney Morning Herald article

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