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Bristol-Myers Squibb Gets FTC Clearance For Celgene Acquisition

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) announced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission or FTC has accepted the proposed consent order in connection with the pending merger of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene Corpn (CELG), thereby permitting the parties to close the transaction.

On August 26, Amgen agreed to acquire worldwide rights to Otezla (apremilast), the only oral, non-biologic treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and certain related assets and liabilities, from Celgene Corp. for $13.4 billion in cash, or about $11.2 billion, net of the present value of $2.2 billion in anticipated future cash tax benefits.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has now satisfied all regulatory requirements under the merger agreement to complete the acquisition of Celgene and expects to close the transaction on November 20, 2019. Bristol-Myers Squibb also expects the OTEZLA divestiture to be completed promptly following the closing of the merger.

The proposed divestiture is the largest that the FTC or the U.S. Department of Justice have ever required in a merger enforcement matter, the FTC said in its statement.

"The Commission has ordered BMS to divest Otezla to preserve BMS's incentive to continue developing its own oral product for treating moderate-to-severe psoriasis," FTC Chairman Joseph Simons said in a statement. "The antitrust laws protect not only competition today, but competition in the future, especially when it comes to the development of new treatments for chronic conditions."

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