The blockbuster $6bn (€5.4bn) sale of distribution monolith Ingram Micro has been cleared by US antitrust officials, clearing perhaps the most treacherous obstacle standing in the way of the deal's approval.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has given the go-ahead to both parties for the sale of the world's largest IT distributor to Chinese conglomerate Tianjin Tianhai, announced in February.
The transaction was also approved by anti-trust authorities in Austria, Italy, Poland and Slovakia.
The merger's completion remains subject to approval from China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) in addition to other customary closing conditions, but Ingram Micro claims that the transaction is still expected to close in 2016.
Ingram's sale has seen its fair share of bumps in the road during its approval process. A little more than a month after the deal was announced, the broadliner's shareholders sued Ingram over the "grossly inadequate" sale price, and in July the Shanghai Stock Exchange delayed the transaction's approval and raised questions about Ingram's credit rating and finances.
The Irvine-based distributor had previously extended the end date of the deal to 13 November in order to allow the CFIUS to complete its review of the transaction.
US approval has stood in the way of a number of high-profile Chinese investments in US companies. Most notably, Huawei has twice seen acquisitions of American firms scuppered by authorities' concerns about national security. Its attempted 2008 investment in networking firm 3Com was effectively scuppered by CIFUS. Three years later it walked away from a proposed acquisition of US server company 3Leaf, following more concerns from US officials over the firm's relationship with the Chinese government.
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