INDIA – Competition Commission of India has given Procter & Gamble a nod to acquire 51.8% stake in the Indian listed drug firm Merck Ltd for US$187.83 million, according to ET Retail.

This is part of the deal to acquire German Merck’s consumer health business valued at US$3.4 billion as it looks to expand its portfolio of consumer health-care products.

P&G had proposed to acquire the consumer health business of Merck KGaA globally including vitamin brands such as Femibion, Neurobion and Nasivin, pursuant to a sale and purchase agreement.

The global deal will be executed through the sale of Merck’s shares in a number of legal entities as well as various asset sales and comprises the consumer health business across 44 countries, including more than 900 products and two consumer health-managed production sites in Spittal (Austria) and Goa (India).

The transaction that involved JP Morgan as financial adviser to Merck is expected to close by the year end.

P&G also announced it would also terminate its consumer care joint venture with Teva Pharmaceutical, PGT healthcare saying P&G and Teva’s strategies were no longer aligned.

PGT accounts for nearly all of P&G’s personal health care sales outside of the United States.

Teva said the terms of the agreement to terminate the JV with P&G would not be disclosed and that the dissolution was amicable.

Last year, P&G said it managed 12% of group sales, that is US$7.5 billion, from health-care products.

The deal follows GlaxoSmithKline agreeing to buy Novartis out of their consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion after dropping its pursuit of Pfizer’s consumer unit.

The U.S. and other Western markets are said to be experiencing intense price competition online, mainly from Amazon, as well as cheaper store-brand products have weighed on profits