Spain's Grifols announced this morning that it has won U.S. antitrust approval for its $4 billion purchase of Talecris Biotherapeutics, after agreeing to sell some assets.
The takeover of Talecris, based in Research Triangle Park, is expected to close today. The deal was first announced a year ago.
Talecris employs more than 2,000 people in the Triangle, and Grifols is expected to cut costs as its integrates the two companies. Any job cuts will likely hit harder at Talecris' RTP headquarters, and not at its massive drug-manufacturing facility in Clayton.
Grifols and Talecris make medicine from blood plasma, used to treat a wide range of diseases, including hemophilia and various immune system deficiencies. Buying Talecris gives Grifols, which has a large share of the market in Europe, a stronger foothold in North America.
Talecris' Clayton plant, which is in the middle of a multimillion-dollar expansion, is a key piece of Grifols' strategy.
The union creates the world's third-largest maker of medicine from plasma, after Baxter International and Australia's CSL.
In order to win approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Grifols agreed to sell a smaller Talecris drug plant in New York, the rights to one of Talecris' drugs, and two plasma-collection centers in Mobile, Ala., and Winston Salem.
FTC staff recommended approval of the deal last month. The FTC had been concerned that consolidation in the industry could lead to higher prices for drugs.
Talecris shares, which began trading in Sept. 2009 at $19 each, closed Tuesday at $28.80.