Group 34 Essay

Submitted By superviho
Words: 3222
Pages: 13

Pfizer’s Unsuccessful Takeover of AstraZeneca
Mergers, acquisitions and takeovers are some of the latest business expansion strategies that help them to reap more profits (Cooper, 2012). The acquisition of the Astra Zeneca started in the year 2013 on 25th November, when Ian Read who was the executive chief of Pfizer decided to discuss the merger of acquiring Astra Zeneca with its chairman Leif Johansson. It was during this meeting where Pfizer proposed to pay £58bn or £46.61 a share so that it could be allowed to acquiring Astra Zeneca. Leif declined the offer on 14 January and decided not to enter into more talks. It was until April 26th the same year when Ian decided to contact the Astra Zeneca’s chairman Johansson so that they could restart the talk ones more by offering him an attractive proposal (BBC, 2014a). The board of Astra Zeneca refused to enter into any talks with Ian of Pfizer or even discuss a merger with him. On April 28th 2014, Pfizer decided to go public on their issue of buying Astra Zeneca before speculations started and said that, it was considering an offer presented in cash and shares.
On 2nd may 2014 Pfizer decided to increase the earlier indicated offer to Zeneca share price from £58 to £68bn and from £46.61 to £50 a share. Pfizer preferred the European operations to be based in UK and so they wrote to David Cameroon pleading to be given a chance to merge the company’s workforce by 20% for at least five years. Despite the increased offer on share price, Astra Zeneca still refused the offer from Pfizer since they were not ready to do business with them. On 4th may 2014, there was the call of independent assessment to confirm if the proposed takeover in the national interest and to facilitate the impact on such merger on the economy of Britain. On 6th may Astra Zeneca set a revenue target of more than $45bn by 2023 where it published a strategy on update highlighting its development on drug matters since this showed benefits that were to be fully accrued to Astra Zeneca’s shareholders. Pfizer were told to give a stronger assurance of their bid by the business secretary Vince Cable so that he could be prepared to invoke a public interest so that he could analyze if the public were for the bid or not. On 7th may there was another stronger assurance from the Pfizer Company following the pressure unrest over the potential job lost and cuts to UK science research. The science minister Lord Sainsbury threatened to block the Pfizer approach and also accused the US firm for being the asset stripper that was out to acquire a foreign company by clinging so much on the takeover issue. He also claimed that US wanted to dismember Astra Zeneca which was known to be an important British company. On 10th may 2014, Read praised Astra Zeneca Cambridge research together with the UK science in general by putting claims that the deal would be a win-win and this was recorded in a video clip for all to view it.
On 13th may 2014 there was separate appearance in skills committee, business and innovation and this occurred between the chief executive officer of Zeneca Pascal Soriot and Read. The development of important drugs could be delayed if the issue of merger acquisition was to take place and so it had to be cut short to prevent the drugs interference that could really endanger people’s lives. The warning given that the merger issue was not to be considered due to the fact that it would interfere with jobs and research spending later was dismissed and said to be red herring. According to BBC (2014b), on 14 may 2014, Soriot and Read appeared in the parliament before the science and technology committee whereby Read had to admit that on the combination of the two companies there would be fewer scientists as compared to the present. He also claimed that, Pfizer had promised to honor its commitments to the UK company investment and these would be legally binding since the Zeneca Company could not fall at any cost. While