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Abbott Completes $6.2B Solvay Unit Buyout

Maker of medical and pharmaceutical products said it closed the $6.2 billion buyout of Solvay’s pharmaceutical business after receiving European antitrust approval for the deal.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Abbott Laboratories said Tuesday it completed the $6.2 billion buyout of Solvay's pharmaceutical business.

On Thursday, the companies received European antitrust approval for the deal, clearing the way for the deal to close.

Under the antitrust clearance, Abbott will have to divest Solvay's cystic fibrosis testing business. European regulators cited concerns that the combination could harm competition in that market.

The buyout helps Abbott expand internationally and add to its product portfolio. Solvay, based in Belgium, is a chemical maker.

Abbott, which makes medical and pharmaceutical products, gains access to emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia along with new therapeutic areas, including hormone therapies and vaccines.

Abbott said the buyout will add about $2.9 billion to sales in 2010, while adding about $500 million to its annual research and development investment.

Shares of Abbott, based in North Chicago, Ill., rose 36 cents to $54.29 in morning trading.

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