A Delaware judge today expedited Alere‘s (NYSE:ALR) lawsuit against Abbott (NYSE:ABT) seeking to force Abbott to adhere to the terms of its $5.8 billion acquisition, but urged the companies to reach an agreement first.
Delaware Chancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock said he put the hearing on the court’s fast track, but didn’t rule on Alere’s request for a trial later this month. Instead, Judge Glasscock requested that both sides consider mediation before Sept. 8, when a trial date will be set.
Alere filed the lawsuit in August, looking to force the company to obtain all antitrust approvals required to complete its $5.8 billion acquisition of Alere.
“Alere will take all actions necessary to protect the interests of Alere shareholders, enforce Alere’s rights under the merger agreement and compel Abbott to complete the transaction in accordance with its terms,” the company wrote in a press release.
The lawsuit from Alere is “without merit,” an Abbott spokesperson said.
“Abbott is compliant with its obligations under the merger agreement and continues to work toward regulatory approvals, despite Alere’s nearly 6-month delay in filing its 2015 10-K (annual report),” Abbott said.
The acquisition has seen its share of hiccups along the way, including a rejected $50 million offer from Abbott to spike the merger and a securities fraud lawsuit accusing Alere of artificially inflating its share price ahead of announcing the merger.
Earlier in August, Alere said it is confident the potential $6 billion merger will go through, despite concerns that it could fail.