Abbott (NYSE:ABT) today closed its $5.3 billion buy of diagnostics giant Alere (NYSE:ALR), ending an acquisition process the company has been engaged in since last Feb.
The companies received the go-ahead from U.S. and Canadian anti-trust regulators last week, subject to concessions, after having received clearance from EU anti-trust regulators in January.
With clearance in hand, the companies officially closed the tie-up today, according to an SEC filing from Abbott.
Abbott offered to acquire Alere in February 2016 but the deal faced a number of speed bumps 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.
A series of accounting snafus, including a significantly delayed Q4 2016 earnings filing and a ban imposed on its Arriva Medical diabetes division by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also delayed the merger.
In April, Abbott agreed to a lower price of $5.3 billion – down from its initial $5.8 billion price tag.
To get the deal cleared, Abbott agreed to divest a blood gas testing system to Siemens (NYSE:SI), which also agreed to buy 2 Alere facilities in Ottawa. Quidel (NSDQ:QDEL) Corp. is slated to buy Abbott’s heart function testing system business and an Alere facility in San Diego.
Last week, Alere agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle SEC charges that it committed accounting fraud; a day later, the company said the U.S. Justice Dept. closed its probe into Alere’s dealings with 3rd-party distributors and foreign healthcare officials without taking any action against Alere.