Australian business regulators decided this week that they won’t opposed Baxter’s (NYSE:BAX) nearly $4 billion buyout of Swedish dialysis maker Gambro AB, as long as Baxter follows through with its plan to ditch its renal replacement therapy business.
Baxter had earlier offered to ditch its renal division in efforts to appease EuroZone regulators, who approved the merger last month.
Like EU regulators, the Australian Competition & Commerce Commission raised some red flags about the high-value merger, mandating that Baxter divest its renal replacement division to a company approved by the ACCC. Baxter agreed in July to sell the business to Japan-based Nikkiso Co Ltd (TSE:6376) for about $621 million (¥3.8 billion), a move that the regulators said they’d get behind.
"The ACCC was concerned that the proposed acquisition could have led to higher prices for [continuous renal replacement therapy] in hospitals in the absence of the proposed divestiture," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in prepared remarks. "The divestiture of Baxter’s CRRT business to Nikkiso is expected to create a viable, effective, independent and long term competitor to Baxter and thereby address the ACCC’s competition concerns."
With those actions in place, Australian healthcare regulators said they were "satisfied" that the Baxter-Gambro merger wouldn’t "substantially lessen competition in Australia."
The Gambro AB buyout has also gotten the OK from regulators in China, the Ukraine, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Turkey and the U.S.