Talecris Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: TLCR) could become part of Spain-based Grifols as soon as today.

The RTP-based company and Grifols said early Wednesday that they had received U.S. federal government approval for the merger, which is worth more than $3 billion.

“Grifols may close the transaction without further action,” Talecris said in a statement.

The Federal Trade Commission had been reviewing the deal.

The move will reduce the number of major companies in the blood-plasma industry to three. It also creates a new corporate parent for Talecris, North Carolina’s largest biotechnology company. Talecris employs more than 2,200 people in the Triangle.

Grifols launched its $4 billion bid for Talecris in June 2010. Grifols becomes the world’s third largest maker of blood plasma products, competing with rivals such as Baxter International and Australia’s CSL, which failed in its bid to buy Talecris.

Talecris makes drugs from blood plasma such as Gamunex and Prolastin to treat auto-immune diseases and other ailments. The company also owns plasma-collection centers.

As part of an agreement with the FTC, Grifols will have to make a number of changes involving assets that will be sold to Kedrion, an Italian company, within 10 days of closing:

• The Melville, NY, fractionation facility (Grifols will lease the facility from Kedrion for up to a four-year period);

• Plasma collection centers located in Mobile, AL and Winston Salem, NC;

• An agreed upon quantity of plasma;

• The exclusive right to sell Factor VIII in the United States under Talecris’ brand name Koate.

The agreement also requires Grifols o sign with Kedrion:

• A seven-year contract-manufacturing agreement under which Grifols will manufacture 300,000 liters of Koate, private-label IVIG, and private-label albumin for sale by Kedrion in the U.S.

• A five-year option for Kedrion to purchase a non-exclusive license to Koate intellectual property for use in Koate.

Grifols operates in more than 90 countries.

Talecris’ headquarters are located in RTP. It operates a major manufacturing facility in Clayton.

For the full Talecris announcement, read here.

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