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
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