Elanco wins conditional EU antitrust okay for $7.6 billion Bayer deal

The historic headquarters of German pharmaceutical and chemical maker Bayer AG is pictured in Leverkusen

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Elanco Animal Health <ELAN.N> secured EU antitrust clearance on Monday to buy Bayer’s <BAYGn.DE> veterinary drugs unit after pledging to sell some products to address competition concerns about the $7.6 billion deal.

The European Commission said the companies will sell either Elanco or Bayer’s products or those in the pipeline, including licenses, contracts, and brands, to treat otitis, anticoccidials, parasiticides for pets in Europe.

“With the divestment of current and pipeline products treating ear infections and parasites in pets and livestock, the merger can go ahead whilst preserving competition and innovation in these markets,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

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The deal would create the world’s second-largest animal health company, with analysts expecting the $44 billion animal health sector to grow 5%-6% per year, driven by an increase in livestock farming and spending on pets.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)