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US regulator clears General Mills deal for Blue Buffalo

General Mills Inc. said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission cleared the food company's purchase of Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc., granting an early termination of the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, or HSR act.

General Mills last month agreed to acquire the pet food manufacturer for $40.00 per share for an enterprise value of about $8.0 billion. The deal is expected to close by May 2018.

The deal resulted in downgrades from some rating agencies, with Fitch putting General Mills on negative watch and saying the acquisition would lead to increased leverage.