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AstraZeneca to respond to Pfizer offer this morning

UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are expected to respond to Pfizer's "final" offer, Business Editor Joel Hills reports.

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Pfizer's new offer 'represents full value' of UK firm

Pfizer increased its takeover bid for Astrazeneca by upping their offer to more than £69 billion, after Friday's offer was rejected. The US drug giant said the new offer will be the fourth and final approach, and "represents compelling and full value for AstraZeneca".

Read: Pfizer makes final offer for £69bn for AstraZeneca

Pfizer chief executive Ian Read said:

We have tried repeatedly to engage in a constructive process with AstraZeneca to explore a combination of our two companies. Following a conversation with AstraZeneca earlier today, we do not believe that the AstraZeneca board is currently prepared to recommend a deal at a reasonable price.

We remain ready to engage in a meaningful dialogue but time for constructive engagement is running out.

We have said from the beginning that we will remain disciplined in the price we are willing to pay and we will not depart from that guiding principle.

We believe that our proposal represents compelling and full value for AstraZeneca and that other issues that have been raised by AstraZeneca do not represent material difficulties.

Without further discussions or an extension of the deadline for making a firm offer, Pfizer's proposal will expire at 5pm on May 26.

More: Ed Miliband: 'Serious concerns' over proposed Pfizer deal

Pfizer makes final offer of £69bn for AstraZeneca

US drugs giant Pfizer said it has made a final and improved takeover approach worth £69 billion for UK rival AstraZeneca.

Pfizer added that it will not make a hostile offer direct to AstraZeneca shareholders, instead urging them to press the company's board to begin substantive engagement over a deal.

Pfizer pharmaceuticals company which is situated at Discovery Park, in Sandwich, Kent Credit: PA

US drug giant Pfizer increases offer to buy AstraZeneca

US drugmaker Pfizer has said it had raised its offer for British rival AstraZeneca to £55 a share and increased the cash element to 45 percent.

AstraZeneca rejected an earlier of cash-and-stock approach worth £50 a share on May 2, arguing it substantially undervalued the company.

PM: Labour MP 'quite wrong' to liken Pfizer to 'rapists'

The Prime Minister feels Labour MP Austin Mitchell was "quite wrong" to liken Pfizer to "rapists" in a Twitter post, his official spokesman has told reporters.

David Cameron feels Austin Mitchell was 'quite wrong' to liken Pfizer to 'rapists' in a Twitter post. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Asked if David Cameron thought Mr Mitchell should be disciplined by his party, the spokesman said, "He does think this is something for the Labour Party."

Mr Mitchell's original tweet also suggested Mr Cameron "dare not stop Pfizer because he dare not offend the US in any way".

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Mitchell: People everywhere decry rape of rainforests

Veteran Labour MP Austin Mitchell sought to calm the row brewing over his tweet likening Pfizer to "rapists" by posting on Twitter:

Mr Mitchell also compared his earlier comments to those made by "people everywhere" who "decry the rape of [the] rainforest".

MP apologises to Labour chief whip over 'rapists' tweet

Veteran MP Austin Mitchell has apologised to Labour's chief whip after he compared US drug giant Pfizer to "rapists" over its proposed takeover of British rival AstraZeneca.

MP for Great Grimsby, Austin Mitchell, has apologised to Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton over the tweet. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

"The chief whip has made clear to Austin Mitchell this tweet was unacceptable. He has now apologised for what was an obvious error of judgment," a Labour spokesman said.

Minister calls for disciplinary action over 'rapists' tweet

Minister for Women Nicky Morgan has called for disciplinary action after Labour MP Austin Mitchell likened Pfizer to "rapists" on Twitter.

Urging Labour leader Ed Miliband to suspend him from the party, Ms Morgan tweeted:

Veteran Labour MP likens Pfizer to 'rapists' in tweet

A veteran Labour MP has been reprimanded over an "unacceptable" remark likening US drug giant Pfizer to "rapists" over its bid to take over British rival AstraZeneca.

Austin Mitchell sparked outrage after he criticised David Cameron on Twitter writing:

His comments came after Labour leader Ed Miliband accused the Prime Minister of putting ideology before British jobs in his approach to the proposed deal.

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