BATESVILLE - Batesville-based Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HRC) says it has crossed a major regulatory hurdle in its proposed $2 billion merger with Welch Allyn Inc. of New York. The deal has received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The deal is on pace to close by the end of September, at which point, the company's headquarters will officially be located in Chicago. The Indiana manufacturer will still have major operations in Batesville, where it has been headquartered for more than 85 years. Many of Hill-Rom's top executives have worked from an Illinois office for years, including President and Chief Executive John Greisch. He was hired from Illinois-based Baxter International Inc. in 2010 and will lead the combined business.

When the merger was announced less than a month ago, the company pegged eventual annual savings from the combination at $40 million. Hill-Rom has around 8,000 current employees. Last month, Welch Allyn is estimated to have 2,600 workers at facilities in New York and Mexico.

The majority of the deal, $1.625 billion, will be in cash. The companies says they have "nearly two centuries of medical device innovation between them."