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AstraZeneca rejects Pfizer's offer

Staff writer |
AstraZeneca Plc said its board has rejected the sweetened offer of 50 pounds per share from Pfizer, Inc., and urged its shareholders not to take any action.

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AstraZeneca, following its board meeting to discuss Pfizer's offer letter, noted that the financial and other terms in the proposal are inadequate, substantially undervalue the firm, and are not a basis on which to engage with Pfizer. Also, the large proportion of the consideration payable in Pfizer shares and the tax-driven inversion structure remain unchanged.

Early Friday, Pfizer had announced the submission of its revised offer to persuade the British drug maker to engage in talks relating to a possible combination, after two failed approaches.

Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ian Read also sent a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron expressing the firm's commitment to the U.K. and its life sciences agenda, if proposed combination with AstraZeneca is completed.

Responding to these, AstraZeneca had said that its board would discuss the matter.The latest is the third offer from Pfizer and AstraZeneca has declined to engage in talks.

In its latest statement, AstraZeneca Chairman Leif Johansson said, "AstraZeneca continues to invest significantly in research, development and manufacturing in the U.K., Sweden and the U.S. 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'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," he added.

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