As­traZeneca shares tum­ble

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT INTERNATIONAL -

LON­DON: Hur­dles rang­ing from ex­ist­ing com­mer­cial tie-ups to pol­i­tics make drug-maker As­traZeneca a prob­lem­atic takeover tar­get in the wake of last week’s big lung cancer set­back that ham­mered the stock and rekin­dled takeover talk. In­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives and bankers say Pfizer, which failed to buy it for $118 bil­lion (R1.5 tril­lion) in 2014, is un­likely to re­turn, while Euro­pean ri­vals No­var­tis, Sanofi and Glax­oSmithK­line are wary of large deals. Over­all, the drugs in­dus­try is in “wait and see mode”, said one bank­ing source, who sees no mega-merg­ers un­til there is clar­ity on tax re­form in the US, where a sug­gested cor­po­rate tax hol­i­day could un­leash an­other round of M&A. But As­traZeneca still has new drugs that could lure preda­tors. – Reuters

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