Pfizer's takeover bid for AstraZeneca

Pfizer confirms takeover bid for AstraZeneca

Pfizer's hostile bid for AstraZeneca could come soon

Pfizer could launch a hostile bid for AstraZeneca very soon. Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer could make a hostile bid for AstraZeneca as early as today.

Its £63 billion takeover offer was rejected after the UK company said it "substantially" undervalued the business.

That has forced Pfizer to consider its next move, with industry experts believing a hostile bid - which would aim to bypass the AstraZeneca management and target shareholders directly - could come soon.

Last week, Pfizer insisted it was committed to building a research and development hub in Cambridge which was planned by AstraZeneca.

The £300m base at the Cambridge Biomedial Campus would house about 2,000 researchers.

But a hostile bid would trigger increased calls for the offer to be referred to the competition authorities and would also heighten union fears over jobs if the takeover was successful.

National

AstraZeneca says Pfizer bid has undervalued company

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports:

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AstraZeneca says Pfizer "strongly undervalues" it + not enough cash on offer. "Shareholders strongly advised to take no action"

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Pfizer confirms it made contact with British government about intentions for AstraZeneca this morning.

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National

Pfizer: AstraZeneca takeover would retain British base

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports on the latest on the speculation that US pharmaceutical giant will attempt another takeover of UK rival AstraZeneca.

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Pfizer already suggesting it would be committed to a presence in Britain. In 2011 it close R&D site in Sandwich where 2,400 worked.

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AstraZeneca one of those "economically important" companies governments cherish. 7,000 skilled staff + accounts for 2% of UK exported goods.

National

Union urges UK jobs protection in Pfizer, Astra deal

The GMB union said that the takeover approach of AstraZeneca by US drugs giant Pfizer has created added insecurity for workers and that any bid should be referred to competition authorities.

GMB headquarters in London
The GMB has called for the Government to safeguard business from going abroad Credit: Press Association Images/Stefan Rousseau

It called for a "bankable commitment that manufacturing and R&D [research and development] will continue here" amid fears these could be exported to the Far East.

GMB national officer Allan Black said the Government had a duty to protect against a "hostile approach" which would see business going abroad, adding that such a move would also weigh on the balance of payments deficit.

Astrazeneca shares climb following takeover talk

AstraZeneca logo Credit: PA Images

AstraZeneca shares climbed more than 15% to over 4700p as trading opened on London today, representing an increase in value of nearly a quarter, or around £11 billion, since before the takeover speculation began last week.

It announced last year that it was building a new £330 million research and development site on Cambridge Biomedical Campus by 2016, employing about 2,000 staff, with corporate staff also moving to the city from London.

The company said the plans would boost the chances of Britain discovering the next generation of medicines and that it would become a "global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation".

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said the move confirmed Astra's "long-standing commitment to the UK".

Astra also last year announced it would end research and development at Alderley Park in Cheshire, with about 1,600 roles moving over three years. Combined with the closure of its London headquarters, it would mean 700 UK jobs cut by 2016.