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AstraZeneca Wins Final Nod Alexion Deal

AstraZeneca’s $39 billion buyouts of U.S.-based rare diseases business Alexion is expected to close next week as Britain’s competition watchdog cleared the deal on Wednesday. A major Covid 19 vaccine producer said that the merger, which will beef up AstraZeneca’s line of rare disease medicines, is expected to close on July 21.

The Competition and Markets Authority began a review of the deal in May to check if that could reduce competition in Britain or other markets. It decided not to initiate a broader probe into the deal following its initial assessment. The clearance follows that from Europe earlier this month.

Marc Dunoyer, the finance chief said that we are very pleased to have secured this critical final clearance. A management shake-up at AstraZeneca following the completion of the merger is expected. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker had said it would move Dunoyer to head Alexion, while Aradhana Sarin will move in the opposite direction to be AstraZeneca’s finance head.The drugmaker said it plans to give an updated 2021 outlook for the combined company in due course.Shares of AstraZeneca have rallied 21.2% so far this year compared with its industry’s growth of 10.5%.

AstraZeneca agreed to acquire Alexion for $39 billion in December 2020. The acquisition will enable AstraZeneca to strengthen its position in immunology. It already has a strong presence in the markets of oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, and respiratory diseases. Upon successful completion of the merger, a dedicated business unit will be formed, which will be known as Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, and will have its headquarters in Boston.

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