Roche Holding Ltd.

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Roche Holding Ltd. and Syntex Corporation have requested Federal Trade Commission approval to divest Syva Company, a Syntex subsidiary which manufactures drugs of abuse testing (DAT) products, to Behring Diagnostics, Inc. The application will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until May 8.

Roche Holding, Ltd. is a Swiss Corporation with a sub- sidiary, Hoffmann La-Roche, located in Nutley, New Jersey. Syntex is a Panamanian corporation whose subsidiary, Syva, is headquartered in San Jose, California. Behring is based in Westwood, Massachusetts and is subsidiary of Hoechst A.G. of Germany.

Prior FTC approval of the divestiture is required under a December 1994 consent order settling FTC antitrust concerns over the Roche acquisition of Syntex and its subsidiary, Syva. The FTC alleged that the acquisition could substantially lessen competition in the DAT market or tend to create a monopoly by eliminating competition between Roche and Syntex. The order requires Roche to divest Syva within 12 months to a Commission approved buyer and to divest additional "ancillary assets and businesses and effect such arrangements as are necessary to assure the marketability, viability and competitiveness of the Syva Business." The purpose of the divestiture is to remedy the lessening of competition resulting from the Roche acquisition, according to the order.

The application states that Behring is a "stable, well- financed company with more than sufficient resources and back- ground to manage the Syva Business." Roche and Syntex maintain that, because neither Behring nor any of its affiliates currently is in the DAT business, the divestiture would remedy the Commission's concerns about reduced competition by adding a new competitor to the market.

Comments on the application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

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Copies of the application, as well as documents and previous news releases associated with this case, are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, at the address listed above.

(FTC Docket No. C-3542)

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