During a meeting at the Research Triangle Park Marriott, shareholders owning 85 percent of Talecris’ outstanding common stock voted in favor of the deal.
Grifols acquisition of Talecris won’t close before March 21, and Talecris CEO Larry Stern told shareholders that the deadline could be extended further.
“There can be no assurance that Grifols will reach resolution with the [Federal Trade Commission] by March 20, 2011,” Stern said. “Certainly, however, the FTC, Grifols and we would not be engaging in discussions and extending the timeline if we did not believe that these discussions were worthwhile. We remain optimistic that Grifols will ultimately reach resolution with the FTC.”
Grifols announced in June its plan to buy Talecris, which is based in Research Triangle Park and is North Carolina’s largest biotechnology company.
Talecris makes drugs from blood plasma such as Gamunex and Prolastin to treat auto-immune diseases and other ailments. The company also owns a chain of 69 plasma-collection centers.
The FTC is reviewing the deal to make sure it doesn’t hurt consumers or lead to higher prices for medicines made from blood plasma. In a regulatory filing earlier this month, Grifols said the deadline for antitrust approval had been extended until March 6.
The FTC blocked an earlier Talecris takeover by an Australian company because of antitrust concerns.
Most Wall Street analysts predict the Grifols deal will win FTC approval, but the commission could require the companies to sell some assets or agree to specific conditions.
Grifols has agreed to pay Talecris a $375 million fee if antitrust regulators block its takeover.
To make the deal pay off, Grifols has said it plans to cut about $230 million in costs by 2014.
Talecris is expanding its Clayton drug factory, which employs more than 1,500 people and isn’t expected to be affected by major layoffs. But the takeover could eliminate positions at Talecris’ RTP headquarters.
Stern said this afternoon that the latest the deal could be completed would be Sept. 6. The deadline could move up if Grifols financing for the transaction expires before then.
Talecris shares fell 2 cents to $24.91 today.