Pfizer, Wyeth ready for some closure

Mark your calendars: One of the biggest pharma mergers in history is set to close today. With final regulatory approval from the U.S. and Canada in the bag, Pfizer plans to sign the final papers for its $68 billion Wyeth buyout. Now it's onward to the integration, which is expected to cost some 19,500 jobs.

To get the Federal Trade Commission to sign off on the deal, Pfizer and Wyeth agreed to sell some animal-health assets--the only monopolistic threat regulators identified. About half of Wyeth's Fort Dodge business will go to Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as Pfizer's horse vaccines.

Of course, there will be plenty of overlap in its pharmaceuticals operations, which is where the job cuts come in. Consolidation and efficiency are among the selling points for most big mergers, and this one is no exception. No word yet on when or where the ax will fall, but Pfizer executives said earlier this week that decisions will be made within 30 to 60 days of the deal's closure. So as of today, the clock is ticking.

- see the Pfizer release
- read the article from Reuters