Merck, Inspire announce expiration of HSR waiting period for cash tender offer

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISPH) today announced that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR") has expired in connection with the previously announced cash tender offer made by Monarch Transaction Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck, to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Inspire.

As previously announced on April 15, 2011, Merck commenced, through Monarch Transaction Corp., its tender offer for all outstanding shares of Inspire for $5.00 per share in cash without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes. The tender offer is being made pursuant to an offer to purchase and related letter of transmittal, each dated April 15, 2011, and an Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of April 5, 2011, by and among Merck, Monarch Transaction Corp. and Inspire.

The expiration of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions necessary for the consummation of the tender offer. The tender offer and withdrawal rights are scheduled to expire at 12:00 midnight, New York City Time, on May 12, 2011, unless extended in accordance with the definitive agreement and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Consummation of the tender offer remains subject to other customary conditions described in the tender offer statement on Schedule TO filed with the SEC on April 15, 2011 (as amended), including the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Inspire's common stock, determined on a fully diluted basis.

SOURCE Merck and Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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