The European Commission has granted approval to Elanco Animal Health’s pending acquisition of Bayer’s animal health business.

Elanco, the US-based company, says that it continues to move towards a mid-year closing, hoping to close the deal by August 3 , 2020.

“Approval from the European Commission is an important milestone toward the completion of our acquisition of Bayer Animal Health,” noted Jeff Simmons, president and CEO of Elanco.

As the transaction edges closer to fruition, we look forward to turning our full attention to delivering innovation and an expanded portfolio of solutions for farmers, veterinarians and pet owners across the globe.

“The recent months have only underscored the critical work our farmers do in delivering meat, milk, fish and eggs; and the importance of providing pet owners and veterinarians with a variety of solutions in multiple channels,” Simmons added.

Elanco says that the acquisition of Bayer’s animal health interest will strengthen its business strategy, and will advance its portfolio to create a balance between farm animal and pet businesses.

The company will also aim to diversify its pet health business into the retail and e-commerce channels.

Elanco has also undertaken divestiture agreements in the range of $120 million (€106.2 million) to $140 million (€123.9 million). The European Commission’s approval for the Bayer animal health acquisition was conditional on a number of these divestitures.

Among these are included:

  • Divestiture of the worldwide rights for Osurnia – a treatment for otitis externa in dogs – being sold to Dechra Pharmaceuticals;
  • Divestiture of the worldwide rights for Vecoxan – used for prevention and treatment of coccidiosis in calves and lambs – being sold to Merck Animal Health (also known as MSD Animal Health);
  • Divestiture of European Economic Area and UK rights to the Drontal and Profender product families and related pipeline assets from Bayer Animal Health, being sold to Vetoquinol, a French pharmaceutical company. These products are broad-spectrum de-wormers for dogs and cats.

In addition to commission approval, Elanco has received antitrust clearance for the transaction in China, Colombia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam, as well as provisional clearance in Brazil.