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AstraZeneca Cleared by FTC to Acquire Alexion

AstraZeneca is one step closer to buying Alexion in a $39 billion cash-and-stock deal after the FTC gives the go-ahead.

AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get AstraZeneca PLC Report is one step closer to acquiring Alexion Pharmaceuticals  (ALXN) - Get Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report, having been cleared by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission after an antitrust review, the company said.

The Cambridge, U.K., pharmaceutical and biotechnology company said the U.S. clearance follows competition clearances in Canada, Brazil, Russia and other countries globally.

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“Additional global regulatory clearances are pending, including but not limited to the U.K., EU and Japan,” the company added.

The deal is valued at $39 billion. AstraZeneca expects to close the acquisition in the third quarter.

AstraZeneca in December agreed to pay $175 a share for the Boston  pharmaceutical company, which is known for its focus on rare and ultra-rare disease.

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Alexion holders will own around 15% of AstraZeneca's shares outstanding when the deal closes.

AstraZeneca shares have been held back in part by confusion surrounding its developing coronavirus vaccine and the advances and approvals from rivals such as Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report.

Regulators have taken note of some potential side effects of its COVID vaccine, including blood clots.

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The acquisition of Alexion is subject to conditions including receipt of the additional regulatory clearances and approval by shareholders of both companies. Shareholder voting on the deal is set for May 11.

At last check AstraZeneca shares were trading little changed at $50.81. Alexion shares were trading 4.1% higher at $163.97.