Grifols of Spain announced today that it's lined up the more than $4 billion in financing it needs for its proposed takeover of Talecris Biotherapeutics.
The deal would give Grifols ownership of North Carolina's largest biotechnology company and one of the Triangle's largest pharmaceutical employers. The Spanish company said it signed loan agreements, signaling that it expects the deal to go through.
But the acquisition, announced in June, still requires approval from U.S. antitrust authorities and Wall Street analysts are increasingly worried the deal could be rejected.
The Federal Trade Commission previously blocked a takeover of Talecris by an Australian company, citing concerns about competition in the market for medicines made from blood plasma.
Analysts expect the FTC could raise similar concerns about the Grifols' deal, and may seek to block it or force the companies to agree to various conditions. The FTC wants to make sure that consumers won't pay higher prices for various drugs if the union occurs.
If the FTC blocks the combination, Grifols would be forced to pay Talecris a $375 million fee.
The FTC is likely to announce its decision by the end of the year, Soleil Securities senior Medical Technology analyst Junaid Husain wrote in a recent report to investors. UBS analysts wrote that chance are high for rejection or conditional approval.
Talecris was formed in 2005 when two investment firms bought Bayer's blood plasma business. The company employs more than 2,000 people in the Triangle, including at its Research Triangle Park headquarters and at a massive drug factory in Clayton.