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China: MOFCOM may pose toughest hurdle for Pfizer, AstraZeneca deal

 |  May 1, 2014

Following pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s announcement that the two plan to merge in a $100 billion deal, reports say the firms will likely face the toughest regulatory scrutiny within China, where the companies hold the number one and number two spots.

According to sources, approval would be necessary from China’s Ministry of Commerce, among regulators within the US and Europe. The review in China also threatens a delay of the deal, reports said.

According to Cambridge parliament member Julian Huppert, the pharmaceutical buyout will also likely face intense scrutiny within MOFCOM due to an earlier bribery scandal in the nation involving GlaxoSmithKline, reports said.

Pfizer has yet to make an official bid for AstraZeneca, however, after two earlier offers were rejected by the company.

Another pharma deal cleared

While the Pfizer acquisition would likely face hurdles in China, MOFCOM has reportedly given approval for Germany-based pharmaceutical firm Merch KGaA to acquire AZ Electronic Materials.

The merger, valued at about $2.62 billion, was announced last December. The companies confirmed last February that all necessary regulatory approval had been received aside from that of MOFCOM.

The delay forced Merck to extend the buyout offer for a fifth time, with a deadline of May 2.

Full content: Reuters and London South East

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