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Dec 05th, 2023
Dec 05th, 2023
The multinational pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has confirmed its interest in a possible multi-billion pound takeover of AstraZeneca.
Pfizer, who previously made an offer in January worth £58.8bn, is now upping its campaign to acquire the British-Swedish pharmaceutical and biologics company.
AstraZeneca, which recently laid off thousands of staff after a drop in sales due to patent losses on blockbuster medicines, said the original offer “significantly undervalued” the firm.
Responding to the latest moves by Pfizer, the company said: “The Board remains confident in the ongoing execution of AstraZeneca’s strategy as an independent company.”
AstraZeneca, which manufactures drugs focusing on treatments for diabetes, cancer, asthma as well as antibiotics, reported £25.7bn in sales last year.
If Pfizer is successful in its latest bid it would represent the biggest acquisition of a UK firm by a foreign company.
Justin Urquhart Stewart, head of corporate development at Seven Investment Management, believed Pfizer’s price tag was still too low to secure a deal.
“It’s too close to what it is priced at in the market,” Mr Urquhart told the BBC. “They’ve tried to talk to the management and gain agreement but that’s not happened so they are considering now going directly to the shareholders.”
AstraZeneca has eight sites in the UK which employs about 6,700 people. Pfizer describes its offer as “highly compelling” and says it is “considering its options” in light of AstraZeneca’s refusal to engage.