£102.4m animal medicines firm acquisition under investigation

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the anticipated acquisition by Dechra Pharmaceuticals of the Osurnia business of Elanco Animal Health Incorporated.

The $135m (£102.4m) deal was first reported early this year.

Dechra, a listed company which has its manufacturing base in Skipton, North Yorkshire, and its head office in Northwich, Cheshire, announced it had acquired the worldwide rights to the Osurnia product portfolio from Elanco.

Completion is expected before the end of June 2020.

Osurnia is a long acting treatment for otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear) in dogs.

Dechra said it was acquiring the worldwide marketing rights; the rights to the intellectual property; the marketing authorisations and associated regulatory documentation; supply contracts with third-parties in relation to the raw material and manufacture of the finished product, and some existing inventory of the product.

But in a notice released today – 26 March – the CMA states: “The CMA has decided to investigate this transaction and is inviting comments.

“The CMA is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002.

“And, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”