is staying mum about reports that the U.S. government may rejected the proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of the Triangle-based firm by an Australian firm

Asked for comment by Local Tech Wire and, a Talecris spokesperson said the company had no comment.

"Any public statements are made by CS," she said..

Australian vaccines and blood products developer CSL Ltd. said Monday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is likely to block its proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of Talecris, a competitor.

Melbourne-based CSL said that managing director Brian McNamee had met with FTC commissioners in Washington on May 22 to discuss the acquisition.

"Dr. McNamee put forward the pro-competitive arguments of CSL’s case, including significant efficiencies and benefits to consumers resulting from the deal, presented potential remedies which may enable approval, and discussed the consideration of the case by FTC staff," CSL said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

"CSL was informed during the meeting that the FTC staff, after reviewing CSL’s case and remedy proposals, have recommended that the commissioners initiate legal action in the U.S. District Court to block the transaction," it added.

CSL said a vote and decision by the commissioners will likely to be announced by Thursday.

CSL told the Australian exchange on May 7 that the FTC was considering the Talecris acquisition.

Talecris had annual revenue of more than $1.4 billion in the 2008 calendar year – up more than 15 percent on the previous year.

Talecris, which operates a huge blood plasma therapeutics production facility in Clayton, is owned by Cerberus partners and Ampersand Ventures.The company has some 2,000 employees in North Carolina and operates several plasma collection centers in the state.

In 2007, Talecris, a provider of plasma-based protein therapies, announced plans to go public with a stock offering with a target of $1 billion.

“We are very pleased to have entered into the merger agreement with CSL," Lawrence Stern, chairman and chief executive officer of Talecris, said in a statement when the deal as announced.  "We at Talecris have long admired CSL. The opportunity for our employees, customers, distributors, suppliers – and most importantly our patients – to benefit from being part of the CSL family is exciting and is a testament to the quality and strength of Talecris’ relationships with its stakeholders.

"At the same time, the transaction represents a good return for our shareholders, many of whom are our employees."

The company was formed in 2005 when Bayer sold off the plasma units that now form the core business of Talecris.

It operates more than 50 plasma collection centers and two manufacturing plants in the United States.

Analysts have said that Talecris is growing better than expected and would be a positive acquisition for CSL.

CSL announced in August 2008 that it had signed an agreement to acquire Talecris.

CSL had said the acquisition would be highly complementary to its existing business, giving it additional scale, breadth of products and expanded geographical presence in the global plasma products market.

CSL estimated that profit improvement initiatives would generate benefits of about $225 million per annum.

CSL stock fell 1.8 percent to 30.35 Australian dollars ($23.73) on Monday.