US drug firm Pfizer has claimed its commitments to preserving British jobs if it takes over AstraZeneca are legally binding.
A statement to politicians ahead of a May 13 panel meeting, the firm announced:
To ensure our commitments are binding, we included them with our proposed offer announcement understanding fully that they would be binding as a matter of English law.
Pfizer has given a five-year commitment to complete AstraZeneca's new research centre in Cambridge, retain a factory in Macclesfield and put a fifth of its research staff in the UK if a deal is agreed.
But the firm has also said it could adjust those promises if circumstances change "significantly".
Pfizer has until Monday until it admits defeat in bidding for AstraZeneca. But after the shenanigans of the past few days we cannot be sure.
AstraZeneca's share price is tumbling back down to earth after the board rejected a "final" Pfizer bid. So is the takeover really over?
Sweden's Finance Minister says the Government should be "very, very sceptical" about any promises the US pharmaceutical giant makes.