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Ecolab hopes to close Champion deal next month

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Ecolab Inc. says the closing of its planned purchase of Champion Technologies “will be delayed beyond March 31 but is expected to occur before April 15," according to a company news release.

The St. Paul-based cleaning and sanitation products maker is still working with federal regulators to resolve antitrust issues raised by the Justice Department.

"Discussions with the DOJ have progressed, and we believe the likely resolution will not meaningfully impact the strategic value and economics that originally compelled us to make this acquisition," the company said. "While we are confident that we will successfully conclude the transaction, it remains possible that the transaction will not be completed on the timing discussed or at all."

Ecolab first announced the $2.2 billion deal to buy the Houston-based specialty chemical company last October. Terms of the purchase agreement were amended in December, which dropped the value of the transaction to $2.16 billion.

The acquisition was originally expected to close before the end of 2012.

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