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Roche pushes back Spark merger deadline as U.S., U.K. antitrust reviews drag on

July 08, 2019 / Kyle Blankenship

Roche and Spark Therapeutics road to a 4.3 billion dollars merger has been a rocky one, with various delays pushing the long-gestating agreement back four times. Now, in order to get all its regulatory ducks in a row, Roche is moving its own deal-close deadline back as well. Roche moved its Spark closing deadline from Jan. 31, 2020 to April 30, 2020, according to a Monday regulatory filing. The move is a precautionary one, meant to give the deal partners time to clear any hurdles that may come up as U.S. and U.K. antitrust regulators review the companies’ marriage. In a note to Spark investors, Roche CEO Severin Schwan said the plan was still to close the merger in 2019 despite the new deadline. “While we still expect this transaction to close in 2019, we want to ensure that we proactively identify and remove any potential future obstacles to achieving this outcome,” he said. “Good things almost always take time, so as we work to bring this agreement to a close,...