Merck KGaA has been granted unconditional permission by regulatory authorities in Brazil to purchase US life sciences group Sigma-Aldrich, which means the firm has now secured approvals from all relevant jurisdictions for its planned acquisition.

The German drugmaker said it expects to complete the transaction sometime in the third quarter of this year, creating a business with combined sales of 4.7 billion euros (based on 2013 financials).

The timeframe for deal completion has been slightly extended to allow commitments made to the European Commission under its conditional approval of the deal - i.e. the sale of parts of Sigma-Aldrich’s solvents and inorganics business in the region - to be met.

The companies first unveiled their $17 billion merger in September last year, in a move to establish “one of the leading players in the $130 billion global life science industry,” with the ability to offer customers “a highly attractive set of established brands and an efficient supply chain that can support the delivery of more than 300,000 products”, according to Merck.