AstraZeneca board rejects Pfizer's final proposal
The offer represents a value of 55 pounds per AstraZeneca share (based on the closing price of Pfizer shares on 16 May 2014).
"This proposal undervalues the company and its attractive prospects and has been rejected by the Board of AstraZeneca," the company said.
"Pascal Soriot, Marc Dunoyer and I had a lengthy discussion with Pfizer over the weekend about the proposal Pfizer made on Friday evening at a value of 53.50 pounds per share. During this discussion, Pfizer said that it could consider only minor improvements in the financial terms of the Friday Proposal. In response, we indicated, even assuming that other key aspects of any proposal had been satisfactory, that the price at which the Board of AstraZeneca would be prepared to provide a recommendation would have to be more than 10% above the level contained in Pfizer's Friday Proposal. The Final Proposal is a minor improvement which continues to fall short of the Board's view of value and has been rejected.
"Pfizer's approach throughout its pursuit of AstraZeneca appears to have been fundamentally driven by the corporate financial benefits to its shareholders of cost savings and tax minimisation. From our first meeting in January to our latest discussion yesterday, and in the numerous phone calls in between, Pfizer has failed to make a compelling strategic, business or value case. The Board is firm in its conviction as to the appropriate terms to recommend to shareholders.
"AstraZeneca has created a culture of innovation, with science at the heart of its operations, which will continue to create significant value for patients, shareholders and all stakeholders of AstraZeneca.
"As an independent company, the entire value of AstraZeneca's pipeline will accrue to our shareholders. Under Pfizer's Final Proposal, this value would be significantly diluted.
"We have rejected Pfizer's Final Proposal because it is inadequate and would present significant risks for shareholders, while also having serious consequences for the Company, our employees and the life-sciences sector in the UK, Sweden and the US." ■