Elanco Animal Health (ELAN) said it has been granted antitrust clearance by the European Commission to buy Bayer AG’s veterinary health unit after agreeing to divest a number of their products to meet competition issues.
Back in August, Elanco announced an agreement to buy Bayer’s unit in a cash and equity deal valued at $7.6 billion. The EC’s approval is conditional on either Elanco or Bayer selling some of their products or those in the pipeline including licenses, contracts and brands, to treat otitis, anticoccidials, and parasiticides for pets in Europe.
“The recent months have only underscored the critical work our farmers do in delivering meat, milk, fish and eggs, and the importance of providing pet owners and veterinarians with a variety of solutions in multiple channels from telemedicine and e-commerce to direct home delivery,” said Jeff Simmons, president and CEO of Elanco. “Combining Bayer Animal Health’s leadership in these areas better positions Elanco to deliver on these needs.”
Elanco previously announced divestiture agreements in the range of $120 million to $140 million of revenue to help advance the needed regulatory approvals. The deal is subject to additional regulatory approvals. The company said it is on track toward meeting a mid-year closing deadline set for August 3.
Elanco rose 4.2% to $24.76 on Monday, extending the stock’s 48% rally since dropping to a record-low in March. The shares are still down some 16% year-to-date.
Ahead of the EU clearance decision, Citigroup analyst Navann Ty earlier this week opened a “positive catalyst watch” on Elanco, saying that he expected the company to receive the antitrust nod and that he continues to view positively the Bayer deal on synergies, scale, and mix. Ty maintained a Buy rating on the stock with a $27 price target.
Meanwhile, the rest of Wall Street analysts are cautiously optimistic on the stock. The Moderate Buy consensus is made up of 5 Buy ratings versus 2 Hold ratings. The $25.83 average price target now indicates a mere 4.3% upside potential in the shares in the coming 12 months. (See Elanco stock analysis on TipRanks)
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