Pfizer Opts Out of Fight to Buy Ri­val As­traZeneca, for Now

Walks away from UK co hours be­fore dead­line ends; UK co had re­jected ear­lier of­fer

The Economic Times - - Economy -

BEN HIRSCHLER & BILL BERKROT

its fi­nal of­fer of £55 a share. “Fol­low­ing the As­traZeneca board's re­jec­tion of the pro­posal, Pfizer an­nounces that it does not in­tend to make an of­fer for As­traZeneca,” Pfizer said. The US drug­maker promised it would not go hos­tile by tak­ing its of­fer to As­traZeneca share­hold­ers, leav­ing the fate of what would have been the world's largest ever drugs merger in the hands of its tar­get, whose board would have had to make a com­plete Uturn to get a deal done. “We con­tinue to be­lieve that our fi­nal pro­posal was com­pelling and rep­re­sented full value for As­traZeneca based on the in­for­ma­tion that was avail­able to us,” said Ian Read, Pfizer's chair­man and chief.

Pfizer's fi­nal of­fer was at a price that many an­a­lysts and in­vestors had sug­gested would bring As­traZeneca to the ta­ble for se­ri­ous ne­go­ti­a­tions. But in re­ject­ing an ear­lier of­fer of £53.50 as un­der­valu­ing the com­pany, the Bri­tish group in­di­cated it needed a bid more than 10% higher.— Reuters

As­traZeneca could reach out to Pfizer af­ter three months and Pfizer could take an­other run at its smaller Bri­tish ri­val in six months time

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