EuroZone regulators are looking at the proposed merger, which would see Zimmer pay $13.35 billion for Biomet, over concerns that the creation of the world’s 2nd-largest orthopedic products group may hurt competition. Both companies are based in Warsaw, Ind.
Zimmer said it agreed to the extension "to provide the EC with certain additional information" but did not elaborate.
"Deadline extensions are not uncommon in such in-depth investigations. Zimmer has been working closely with the regulatory authorities to facilitate their review of the pending transaction and is encouraged by the substantial progress that has been made to date in connection with the overall regulatory process," the company said in a statement.
The agreement extends the EU review beyond its former March 11, 2015, deadline, Zimmer said.
The European Commission has been reviewing the deal between Zimmer and Biomet since August, after tabling it for a spell in June. Last month the commission opened a deeper probe into the deal. Anti-trust regulators in the U.S. and their counterparts in Japan are also looking at the Zimmer-Biomet deal.
Zimmer said today that it still expects the buyout to close during the 1st quarter of 2015. The acquisition would make Zimmer the 2nd-largest seller of orthopedics products behind Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), boosting its presence in the fast-growing sports medicine sector.