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Anglo-Swedish pharma MNC AstraZeneca rejects $100-billion offer from US Pfizer

US pharma giant Pfizer Inc said on Monday that it, at present, is considering options with respect to British-Swedish  AstraZeneca, which had twice rejected the $100 billion acquisition proposal.

‘Pfizer Inc confirms that it previously submitted a preliminary, non-binding indication of interest to the board of directors of AstraZeneca in January, 2014 regarding a possible merger transaction,’ the company said in a statement. After limited high-level discussions, AstraZeneca declined to pursue negotiations, it added. The US drug major contacted AstraZeneca on 26 April, 2014 again ‘seeking to renew discussions in order to develop a proposal that could be recommended by both companies to their shareholders’.

‘AstraZeneca again declined to engage. Pfizer is currently considering its options with respect to AstraZeneca,’ the company said. ‘Pfizer's previous proposal made to the board of AstraZeneca on 5 January, 2014 included a combination of cash and shares in the combined entity which represented an indicative value of $76.62 per AstraZeneca share and a substantial premium of approximately 30 per cent to AstraZeneca's closing share price on 3 January 2014,’ the company said. On the basis of the offered price, the deal would have been valued at around $100 billion.
Commenting on the development, AstraZeneca said the proposal ‘very significantly undervalued AstraZeneca and its prospects’ and the (company's) Board remains confident in the ongoing execution of AstraZeneca's strategy as an independent company.

AstraZeneca said when Pfizer Chairman and CEO Ian Read contacted its Chairman Leif Johansson on 26 April, there was no ‘specific proposal regarding an offer to acquire AstraZeneca’, but Pfizer requested that both companies ‘issue a joint statement, prior to the market open on 28 April, 2014, announcing that they had entered into discussions regarding a combination’.

‘The Board of AstraZeneca considered this request and concluded that, absent a specific and attractive proposal, it was not appropriate to engage in discussions with Pfizer,’ the company said.

Commenting on the move to acquire AstraZaneca, Read said: ‘The combination of Pfizer and AstraZeneca could further enhance the ability to create value for shareholders of both companies and bring an expanded portfolio of important treatments to patients.’
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