Pfizer (PFE) Jacks-up Bid for U.K.’s Second-biggest Drugmaker: Report

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc (PFE) has raised its offer for AstraZeneca Plc to 50 pounds ($84.47) a share, valuing the U.K.’s second-biggest drugmaker at 63.1 billion pounds ($106.5 billion), New York-based Pfizer said in statement today.

The revised bid comes after AstraZeneca had rebuffed a proposal of 46.61 pounds a share ($78.70), announced April 28, valuing it at $98.9 billion.

Pfizer said Friday that Ian Read, its chairman and chief executive, had contacted AstraZeneca’s chairman, Leif Johansson, and that the British company had indicated it would respond after its board had reviewed the proposal, which would see shareholders receiving, for each AstraZeneca share, 1.845 shares in the combined company and 15.98 pounds ($26.98) in cash.

In an attempt to smooth relations with the British government, Read, who visited the U.K. this week, wrote a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron pledging to complete AstraZeneca’s plan to build a “substantial” research and development facility in Cambridge, England, and to keep key scientific management at the site.

Read also said that 20% of the enlarged group’s workforce would be in Britain.

“The consistent message from leading shareholders reinforces our belief that there is a highly compelling strategic, business and financial rationale for combining our businesses, with significant benefits for all our stakeholders,” Read said in a letter to AstraZeneca Chairman Leif Johansson. “We believe our revised terms will be viewed by the market as a basis for engagement.”

via Bloomberg

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