No deal for Pfizer yet, but shares in AstraZeneca leap
Shares in AstraZeneca shot up in overseas markets yesterday as it emerged that it had held talks with Viagra maker Pfizer over a £150bn merger.
AstraZeneca has shares and bonds traded around the world, which reacted strongly to reports over the Bank holiday weekend that the two companies had been in merger discussions which would effectively be a £60bn takeover of the British company.
Yesterday it emerged that the talks had taken place several months ago, and that they had been abandoned with no current plans to resume, according to Bloomberg News.
However, the shares were still expected to shoot ahead due to hopes that, while no deal happened, the pair had at least been considering a tie-up.
Both companies have been in a phase of retrenchment over recent years, like many major drug companies struggling to strike new blockbuster medicine gold. AstraZeneca has seen its share price rise strongly under chief executive Pascal Soriot as its restructuring has included collaboration deals with specialist developers like Immunocore on cancer treatments.
A merger deal would create major cost-cutting opportunities, as well as severe job losses, probably in AstraZeneca’s 6,700-strong UK workforce. A tie-up would also spark renewed political problems for the British government due to the long-running concerns about control of Britain’s key industries going abroad. AstraZeneca has long been lauded as a key player in Britain’s high-value research industry, even while non-executive director Baroness Shriti Vadera was a Labour business minister under the previous government.
AstraZeneca’s US-listed stock, known as American depository receipts, gained as much as 6 per cent yesterday. AstraZeneca Pharma India shares were up a similar amount before losing some of their steam to close in the afternoon 4 per cent up.
Analysts said AstraZeneca’s cancer treatments may have attracted the approach, although others pointed out that its so-called “patent cliff”, the large number of its medicines falling out of patent, could put off Pfizer’s shareholders. “The consensus AstraZeneca model is hugely dependent on pipeline assumptions, as the base business will deteriorate massively by 2020 as several key products go off patent,” said ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer did not comment, but Mr Soriot and his chairman Leif Johansson will face tough questions at their quarterly results presentation on Thursday.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing
Syrian teenager Usaid Barho reveals how he escaped from Isis using a suicide vest
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Douglas Carswell tells Ukip to stop blaming foreigners as youth poll shows Nigel Farage is even less popular than Nick Clegg
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...