Merial's planned merger with Intervet/Schering-Plough remains subject to regulatory review and will not close until the third quarter of 2011, according to Merck Sharpe and Dohme.
The pharmaceutical firm, which owns Intervet/Schering-Plough, confirmed that US antitrust regulators are still assessing the transaction to ensure it will not have an excessive impact on market competition, reports Dow Jones.
Merck Sharpe and Dohme agreed to combine its animal health business with Sanofi-aventis' Merial unit in March 2010, with the deal originally expected to close within 12 months.
It is set to create the world's largest veterinary medicines company, which will be led by chief executive officer Raul Kohan, the current president of Intervet/Schering-Plough.
Steve Campanini, a spokesman for Merck, stated that authorities are currently examining the companies' plans to address "possible overlap" in their portfolios, adding that it is difficult to predict exactly when the merger will close.
"We are executing the antitrust process with great care with the goal of leading it to successful approval. It is a process that varies with each transaction," he explained.See all the latest jobs in Animal Health