AstraZeneca rejects Pfizer’s sweetened £63-billion bid

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: May 02, 2014 22:21 IST

British-Swedish pharma major AstraZeneca on Friday rejected the £63-billion (Rs 6,39,000 crore) takeover proposal of the US drugs giant Pfizer on the ground that it was inadequate and “substantially” undervalues the company.

If successful, it would have been the biggest takeover of a UK company by a foreign firm.

“Pfizer’s proposal would dramatically dilute AstraZeneca shareholders’ exposure to our unique pipeline and would create risks around its delivery. As such, the board has no hesitation in rejecting the proposal,” said Leif Johansson, chairman, AstraZeneca. “AstraZeneca continues to invest significantly in research, development and manufacturing in the UK, Sweden and the US. We are showing strong momentum as an independent company, in particular with our exciting, rapidly progressing pipeline, which the board believes will deliver significant value for shareholders”.

Pfizer had raised the price it was offering for AstraZeneca to 50 pounds a share, valuing the firm at £63 billion. Pfizer’s initial offer in January was worth £58.8 billion, or 46.61 pounds per share, which was rejected.

Earlier on Friday, Pfizer head Ian Read said “the industrial logic for a combination between Pfizer and AstraZeneca is compelling”.

Four scientific bodies had raised concerns about possible lab closures in the UK if the deal went ahead.

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