CCI to take final call on Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy deal this month

Competition Commission is likely to finalse this month its decision on the USD 4 billion Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy deal -- the first M&A transaction to have gone through public scrutiny amid concerns of adverse impact on fair competition in the market.

The big-ticket deal, which would create the country's largest pharmaceutical company, has come under close scrutiny of CCI after it was found prima-facie that the "combination is likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition".

The Competition Commission of India, which is mandated to keeps a tab on unfair trade practices in the market place across sectors, is expected to take a final decision on the Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy deal this month, a senior official said.

The public scrutiny of the deal, which would create the fifth largest specialty generics company in the world, ended on September 24. Major issues being examined by CCI on the deal are with respect to the molecules market.

The combined entity would have operations in 65 countries, 47 manufacturing facilities across 5 continents, and a significant platform of specialty and generic products marketed globally. The deal, announced in April this year, is also the first one where the Commission sought public comments.

Announcing the public scrutiny process on September 4, CCI had said that the comments should be submitted to it within 15 working days. They were to be submitted along with supporting documents on the way the merger can adversely impact the person or the entity concerned.

The public consultation process was launched in order to determine whether the combination has or is likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in the relevant market in India.

"The Commission formed a prima facie opinion that the combination is likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition and accordingly directed Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy (Parties) to publish details of the combination within ten working days for bringing the combination to the knowledge or information of the public and persons affected or likely to be affected by such combination," it had said.

Prior to that, the fair trade watchdog had asked the two pharma majors to make public specific details of their proposed merger.

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