Pfizer, AstraZeneca Issue Statements on Merger Talks

Pfizer and AstraZeneca admit to merger discussions, state positions to stakeholders.

In separate statements issued on April 28, Pfizer and AstraZeneca confirmed previous discussions about a possible mergertook place in January 2014.  AstraZeneca declined to engage in further discussion at that time. Pfizer reported that it contacted AstraZeneca on April 26 seeking to renew discussions; however, AstraZeneca again declined to engage in discussions.

AstraZeneca, it its statement, reported that its board concluded that the proposal, reportedly worth $100 billion, “very significantly undervalued” the company and its prospects. The board also said it was committed to executing the strategy announced in March 2013.

In its statement, Pfizer listed a number of benefits of a combined company, including a strong cancer therapy portfolio, greater depth in immune-oncology, cardiovascular medicines, anti-diabetic medicines, as well as enhanced distribution capabilities. Financial analysts have identified tax advantages for Pfizer; if the two companies combine under a UK-holding company, Pfizer would benefit from lower tax rates in Britain.