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AZ refuses $100bn bid, but Pfizer ‘confident’ of ‘compelling’ offer

By Fiona BARRY , 28-Apr-2014

AstraZeneca says Pfizer has “very significantly undervalued” the company after confirming rumours it had received an offer worth £59bn ($100bn).

Pfizer made an offer to AstraZeneca (AZ) on January 5 this year but negotiations broke off nine days later. It contacted the company again two days ago on April 26, and AstraZeneca today revealed it had this time declined discussions.

Despite the rebuff, in a statement released today Pfizer expressed “continuing interest in a possible merger transaction.

The January proposal offered £46.61 ($76.62) per AstraZeneca share, formed 30% by cash (£13.98 per AstraZeneca share) and 70% by shares (1.758 Pfizer shares per AZ share). The suggested £58.7bn purchase would have combined the pharma giants into a new listed holding company with management in the US and UK.

After negotiations led by Pfizer CEO Ian Read and AZ’s Leif Johansson, AstraZeneca’s board rejected the January offer, citing concerns about the risk of the large ratio of Pfizer shares to cash in the transaction, the company revealed today.

Second offer

Pfizer announced today it is considering making another cash-and-share offer, on terms it said are “highly compelling” for AstraZeneca shareholders. It was “confident,” it said, that “a combination is capable of being consummated.

Despite this, AZ told reporters today it had declined Pfizer’s invitation for discussions two days ago, due to the absence of “a specific and attractive proposal.

Mega-merger?

According to Pfizer, the proposed combined company “would create a highly complementary mapping of products, pipeline and operating assets to Pfizer’s new operating structure, providing additional critical mass to all business segments and strong cash flow.”

The pharmaceutical titan’s most recent acquisition was 150-year old Wyeth, which it bought in 2009 for $68bn. Since 2000, it also made multi-billion dollar purchases of Warner Lambert and Pharmacia. 

In-Pharmatechnologist.com’s infographic maps out the therapeutic and manufacturing assets Pfizer hopes to acquire from AstraZeneca in its proposed mega-merger.

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