Pfizer and its advisers are still hoping to get AstraZeneca into negotiations before May 26, which is the date by which Pfizer is required to either make a new offer for the London-based rival or walk away. AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer’s second bid on May 2, which was raised to $106 billion from about $99 billion and made up of 32% cash and the rest in stock.
But the report said that “the gap in pricing the company between the two sides” remains “significant”, suggesting Pfizer will have to make a sizeable jump in price to bring AstraZeneca management to the table. The report notes however, that the U.S. group has not ruled out a hostile takeover attempt in the $100 billion-plus range by bringing its bid directly to AstraZeneca’s shareholders.
“Going hostile is the least favorite option but taking the offer direct to shareholders is a possibility,” one source was quoted as saying to the publication.
Obviously, Pfizer would prefer a friendly takeover since its unsolicited acquisition bid already has attracted political scrutiny in the U.S. and U.K.