Corporations & securities brief ~ SEC begins formal probe into Merck's handling of Vioxx

[JURIST] Leading Friday's corporations and securities law news, Merck & Co. [corporate website] announced the SEC [official website] has started a formal probe into the company's handling of Vioxx [FDA information]. Merck had pulled the painkiller [Merck press release] from the market on September 30 because of its link to heart attacks and strokes. The Department of Justice [official website] and some Congressional committees are also conducting probes. Read the Merck press release. Bloomberg has more.

In other news...

  • As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, a Russian judge Friday extended the detention of former Yukos [corporate website] CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST Hot Topic; trial website] until May 14. AP has more. In other Yukos news, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said the government is not moving Yukos toward re-nationalization. AFP has more. The Russia Journal provides ongoing coverage of the Khodorkovsky trial and Yukos' related legal troubles.

  • Shareholders of Molson Inc. [corporate website], Canada's largest brewer, voted in favor of merging with Adolph Coors Co [corporate website]. Coors shareholders still need to approve the $6 billion merger which would form the fifth-largest brewer in the world. Read the Molson press release. AP has more.

  • In its second bailout in eight months, Japanese auto manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors Corp. [corporate website] announced it would get $5.25 billion from three of its core units. Reuters has more.

  • The London Stock Exchange [official website] has rejected a £1.3 billion takeover bid from Deutsche Börse but appears ready to give up its independence for the right deal. Read the London Stock Exchange press release about the offer. The Guardian has more.

  • The SEC has started formal investigation into Interstate Bakeries Corp. [corporate website] related to how the company manages its workers' compensation reserves and other reserve accounts. AP has more.

  • Procter & Gamble [corporate website] has agreed to acquire Gillette [corporate website] in a deal worth $57 billion. The company would from the world?s largest consumer and household goods company by market capitalization and revenue. Read the Proctor & Gamble press release. The Financial Times has more.
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