Lilly closes $5.4 billion purchase of Norvartis' animal health division to create US giant

IndustriesAssociated Press

Just over a week after saying it would sell its heartworm treatment for dogs at the request of federal regulators, Eli Lilly announced that it has completed its $5.4 billion acquisition of the animal health division belonging to Switzerland's Norvartis.

Before giving its nod to the deal, the Federal Trade Commission said last week that it would require Eli Lilly to rid itself of Sentinel heartworm products for competitive reasons. Eli Lilly and Co., based in Indianapolis, agreed to sell the business to the French pharmaceutical company Virbac.

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On Thursday, Senior Vice President Jeff Simmons said that the deal would allow Lilly to "dedicate greater resources to new product discovery and development."

Lilly's Elanco Animal Health develops and markets products in more than 70 countries, with facilities in more than 40. Simmons is also the president of Elanco.

The impact of the will be reflected in the first quarter of this year.

Eli Lilly first said it would buy Novartis Animal Health in April and fuse it with Elanco to create the second-largest animal health company in the U.S.

The European Union approved the acquisition in October.