The waiting period for Valeant Pharmaceuticals(NYSE:BHC) acquisition of Obagi Medical  Products  (UNKNOWN:OMPI.DL) under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, or HSR, expired on April 19, the company announced today, allowing the transaction to move to the next phase. 

Valeant offered to buy Obagi for $19.75 a share on March 20. A subsequent bid by Merz Pharma for $22 a share led Valeant to raise its offer earlier this month to $24 a share, or $417 million.

The HSR requires merging companies to file detailed reports with the FTC and the Justice Department to see whether the combination violates antitrust laws. There is a 30-day waiting period (15 days for all-cash transactions) before the merger can be completed. The companies can request the waiting period be terminated early, which will be granted if both antitrust agencies complete their reviews and determine that no enforcement action is necessary.

The completion of the tender offer is also conditioned on approval of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for purposes of compliance with applicable Ukrainian antimonopoly law. Although there can be no guarantee or assurance, Valeant believes it is possible that the parties may receive approval from the committee in the near future. 

Valeant also requires the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock of Obagi, which it expects to complete promptly after the committee's approval.

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