Pfizer Steps Away After AstraZeneca Turns Down Record Offer


Pfizer, the largest U.S. drug maker has stepped away from talks with AstraZeneca after their record final offer of $117 billion.  Under U.K. regulations, the companies have a cooling-off period of at least three months before they can restart negotiations.  Many experts believe Pfizer hopes this period will allow AstraZeneca's shareholders to pressure the company's board in to reentering negotiations once the proper time has lapsed. Drew Armstrong of Bloomberg stated Pfizer covets AstraZeneca's portfolio that's recently been focused on new cancer drugs that use the body's immune system to attack tumors.  Odile Rundquist, a Helvea SA analyst based in Geneva believes Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s chief executive officer has made a serious bet on the company's pipeline of new cancer drugs. This puts enormous pressure on him and the CEO's ten year projections according to Rundquist "are very bullish and, in my opinion, not too realistic.”

AstraZeneca was under pressure from the Swedish government to turn down the deal which was echoed by Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg last week “There’s a worry that tax-driven deals can result in that potential profits will be achieved through cost cuts.”

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