Brussels, 3 October 2014
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Novartis Animal Health division by Eli Lilly
The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the Novartis Animal Health business ("NAH") of Switzerland by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company ("Eli Lilly") of the United States under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction does not raise competition concerns, in particular because a number of strong players would remain in the markets after the merger.
NAH and Eli Lilli are active on the markets for animal health products. The transaction creates overlaps between the activities of NAH and Eli Lilly on the markets of parasiticides and antimicrobials for both, companion and production animals in several Member States. The Commission's investigation focused in particular in the markets for endoparasiticides in Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Spain and The Netherlands; heartworm parasiticides in Italy, Spain and Portugal; otitis externa in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, oral / pre-mix antimicrobials for swine in the United Kingdom and in Denmark; oral antimicrobials for rabbits in Spain; and endoparasiticides for sheep in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.
The Commission's investigation found that, in the above markets, several competitors will remain active after the merger and could become a competitive constraint to the merged entity. Moreover, competitors have entered the market in the past and more entry is expected to occur in the next two to three years. In addition, the Commission's investigation revealed that, in some markets, Eli Lilli and NAH would have no incentive to increase prices in relation to the treatment of particular species, as the products are used for several species.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 29 August 2014.
Companies and products
Eli Lilly is a publicly listed company whose common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. It is active in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a range of pharmaceutical products for humans and animals. The main areas in which it is active are: neuroscience, endocrinology, oncology, cardiovascular, animal health, and the treatment of staphylococcal and bacterial infections.
NAH is a publicly listed company whose common stock is traded on the New York and the Swiss Stock Exchanges. It is active in the discovery, manufacturing, development and sale of animal health products to prevent and treat diseases in companion animals, production animals and farmed fish.
Merger control rules and procedures
The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.
The vast majority of notified mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).
More information will be available on the competition website, in the Commission's public case register under the case number M.7277.