Bowing to the demands of Alza Corp. shareholders, AZA and merger partner Abbott Laboratories announced Friday they will not close Abbott's proposed acquisition of AZA until the companies issue a new proxy statement to shareholders and allow them to vote again on the merger. The decision follows Abbott's signing of a consent decree with the U.S. government related to regulatory violations cited by the FDA at Abbott's diagnostics manufacturing facilities.

Although the news means the transaction could unwind, disgruntled AZA shareholders agreed to withdraw a request in federal court for a preliminary injunction against the merger.