AstraZeneca rejects ‘final’ offer by Pfizer - The Buffalo News

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AstraZeneca rejects ‘final’ offer by Pfizer

LONDON — Pfizer’s pursuit of AstraZeneca may be drawing to a close.

On Monday, AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer’s latest — and what it described as its “final” — takeover bid.

In recent weeks Pfizer has made repeated approaches to AstraZeneca, both privately and publicly, and AstraZeneca has rebuffed them all as too low. AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London.

The latest offer, made Sunday evening, was worth about $119 billion.

Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New York City

On Monday, AstraZeneca said the increased bid “undervalues the company and its attractive prospects.”

Pfizer, which began its pursuit of a merger last year, has said it will not make a hostile bid for AstraZeneca. Under British takeover rules, Pfizer was given until May 26 to decide whether to make a formal offer or walk away.

A Pfizer spokesman said Monday that the company was evaluating its options after the latest rejection.

Leif Johansson, the AstraZeneca chairman, said in a statement that Pfizer’s pursuit all along “appears to have been fundamentally driven by the corporate financial benefits to its shareholders of cost savings and tax minimization.”

“From our first meeting in January to our latest discussion yesterday, and in the numerous phone calls in between, Pfizer has failed to make a compelling strategic, business or value case,” Johansson said.

Sunday’s offer represented a 45 percent premium over AstraZeneca’s share price before news of Pfizer’s interest became public in April and came after a previous offer by Pfizer late Friday.

The latest proposal would have given AstraZeneca shareholders 1.747 shares of the combined company, and 24.76 pounds in cash for each of their shares.

The offer valued each share of AstraZeneca at about 55 pounds ($92.50).

AstraZeneca said that Pfizer sent a letter to its board of directors Friday that included an increased, nonbinding offer of cash and stock worth about 53.50 pounds a share.

The board of AstraZeneca again felt the offer was too low.

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