The Federal Trade Commission has approved a petition from Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A. to acquire the chromatography equipment business of Novasep Process SAS.
Sartorius was the FTC-approved divestiture buyer in 2020, when the FTC required Danaher Corporation to divest assets as a condition of acquiring General Electric’s biopharmaceutical business, which included chromatography assets. Sartorius agreed to obtain the Commission’s prior approval if it proposed to acquire Novasep’s chromatography business. Sartorius filed its petition for prior approval of this acquisition on October 28, 2021. The petition was put out for public comment for 30 days. No comments were received by the Commission.
The Commission has determined the transaction is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the relevant market at this point in time. In making its decision, the Commission relied on certain non-public representations made by the parties, as well as MilliporeSigma’s imminent launch of a new product into the relevant market. As always, the Commission reserves the right to take such action in the future as necessary to protect the America public from illegal mergers and acquisitions.
On July 21, 2021, the Commission rescinded its 1995 Statement Concerning Prior Approval and Prior Notice Provisions in Merger Cases, and on October 25, 2021, it instituted a new Statement of the Commission on the Use of Prior Approval Provisions in Merger Orders. Pursuant to that new Policy Statement, the Commission will be regularly employing prior approval provisions to deter unlawful mergers and acquisitions in order to better the American public from the surge in anticompetitive mergers.
The Commission vote to approve the application was 4-0. Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson issued a statement.