FTC Will Have More Time to Review Novo’s $16.5B Catalent Buy


Pictured: FTC sign above a doorway in Washington, DC/iStock, Evgenia Parajanian

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice antitrust division have an additional 30 days to review the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s $16.5 billion acquisition of contract manufacturer Catalent, according to an SEC filing on Wednesday.  

Catalent’s filing detailed that the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the parent company of Novo Holdings, had filed their corresponding forms with the FTC and the DOJ’s antitrust division. However, after “informal discussions” with the FTC, the Novo Nordisk Foundation decided to withdraw and refile their submission.

According to Catalent, this new filing will give the FTC and the antitrust division more time to review the transactions. If a second request is issued, the agencies could extend the review period by 30 additional days.

BioSpace reached out to the Novo Nordisk Foundation for comment but did not get a response. Catalent declined to comment.

The FTC and the DOJ have been changing their approach to mergers and acquisitions with the development of draft guidelines last year. The guidelines consider how companies would leverage negotiating power along with 13 other factors for reviewing M&A.

Novo Holdings, which also acts as the investment arm of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, announced the Catalent’s purchase in February, aiming to complete the deal sometime toward the end of 2024.

Novo Nordisk will purchase three of Catalent’s sterile fill finish sites, one in the U.S. and two in Europe, for $11 billion upfront. The move is designed to help increase the production capacity of its blockbuster semaglutide products, such as Ozempic and Wegovy.

However, Catalent’s existing contracts with pharma customers has been raised by Novo’s competitors as an area of concern for the acquisition. While experts expect that the contracts in place at the three Catalent facilities will not be affected, Eli Lilly CFO Anat Ashkenazi said on an earnings call in February that Catalent is an “integral part” of its commercial and pipeline products and vowed to hold the manufacturer accountable for its contract.

Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at tyler.patchen@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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