Time called on Pfizer–AstraZeneca deal


Pfizer’s pursuit of a pharmaceutical megamerger with AstraZeneca (AZ) has concluded with the US giant withdrawing its final offer two hours before the deadline set by the UK’s takeover rules.

The City Code on Takeovers and Mergers allows Pfizer to make a new approach to AZ after a six month cooling off period, or AZ can invite Pfizer to negotiate after three months. Given the Anglo-Swedish firm’s steadfast refusal to entertain Pfizer’s advances, the latter option seems unlikely. ‘We welcome the opportunity to continue building on the momentum we have already demonstrated as an independent company,’ AZ’s chairman Leif Johansson said in a statement after the withdrawal.

Pfizer, in its turn, is leaving the door open. ‘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 chief executive Ian Read in the withdrawal statement. The value and attactiveness of any new offer will depend strongly on how well AZ lives up to predictions about forthcoming drugs made by the board to justify its refusal of this deal. 


Related Content

Pfizer presses hard for AstraZeneca deal

14 May 2014 Business

news image

Executives face down international controversy over tax schemes and previous post-merger record

Pfizer courts AstraZeneca megamerger

29 April 2014 Business

news image

AZ rebuffs public dealmongering

Most Read

No-frills coats set a trend for designer viruses

26 August 2014 Research

news image

An artificial protein that self-assembles around and protects DNA could be ideal for gene therapy, nanomachines and synthetic...

History of King Richard III written in his teeth

18 August 2014 Research

news image

Chemical analysis of isotope signatures in monarch's remains provide insight into his life

Most Commented

The energy to fight injustice

23 July 2014 Comments

news image

Giving the world carbon-free energy means putting nuclear energy back on the agenda, says James Hansen

Next Mars rover will make oxygen from CO2

4 August 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Mars 2020 will set Nasa’s space exploration on a self-sufficiency course