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Fresenius snaps up Akorn, Merck KGaA's biosimilars in separate deals

FRANKFURT, April 24 (Reuters) - Acquisitive German healthcare conglomerate Fresenius SE & Co KGaA revved up its deals pace by acquiring U.S. generic drugmaker Akorn Inc for $4.75 billion (4.37 billion euros), and in a separate deal, the biosimilars unit of German peer Merck KGaA .

In a transaction that has the backing of Akorn's management, Fresenius will pay $34 per share and take on Akorn's net debt of about $450 million for a total price tag of $4.75 billion, Fresenius said in a statement late on Monday.

The deal will be financed by a broad mix of euro- and dollar-denominated debt instruments, it added.

In the separate deal with Merck KGaA, Fresenius will pay an initial 170 million euros and up to 500 million euros in future milestone payments tied to achievements of drug development targets. (1 euro = $1.0866) (Reporting by Carl O'Donnell in New York and Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt, editing by G Crosse)