Pfizer boss Ian Read flies in to put AstraZeneca takeover case to MPs
The pharmaceutical giant's chairman and chief executive, and his AstraZeneca counterpart, will appear before the Commons Business Committee this week
Sunday 11 May 2014
The chief executive of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will arrive in the UK tomorrow to persuade the Government that its £60bn-plus hostile takeover of British rival AstraZeneca should be allowed.
Concern has been raised that what would be the biggest ever corporate takeover in the UK could result in the loss of thousands of skilled jobs and damage British research. The Government can block such deals in exceptional circumstances if the public interest is at risk, although lawyers have said intervention in this case is unlikely to comply with European trade laws.
Pfizer's chairman and chief executive, Ian Read, and his AstraZeneca counterpart, Pascal Soriot, will appear before the Commons Business Committee on Tuesday and the Science and Technology Committee the next day. The science committee will also question Science Minister David Willetts.
While Pfizer has given assurances that it would keep at least 20 per cent of the combined companies' research and development workforce in the UK for at least five years and base its European headquarters in Britain, David Cameron has said he is "not satisfied".
Mr Read said in a video on the company website: "I see this as a win-win for society, a win-win for shareholders, and a win-win for stakeholders."
He also said the deal would "liberate the balance sheet and tax" of both companies.
The Chancellor George Osborne, said yesterday he would make sure Pfizer executives gave "real promises that we can hold them to".
"I'm also prepared to get in the room and have a hard negotiation with very large companies and be very, very hard-nosed about what we want to deliver in terms of good British science and good British jobs," he told Radio 4's Today programme.
Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable saying there is "wide concern … across the business and science communities about the deal". "The assurances Pfizer has given are not worth the paper they are written on, given that Pfizer has since refused to rule out breaking up AstraZeneca and selling off parts of it in the future," he said.
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 3 Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...