Pfizer jets in to face MP grilling over drug deal

Michael Bow
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PFIZER bosses hoping to take over Astrazeneca flew into London last night ahead of today’s crunch meeting with MPs, amid a renewed charm offensive by the group to win over sceptics.

Scottish boss Ian Read led a small army of senior executives into the capital late last night ahead of this morning’s appearance before the business select committee.

Read, finance boss Frank D’Amelio and UK chief Jonathan Emms will face questioning by 11 back bench MPs on the business panel for 75 minutes at 10am.

Their arrival in London came as the US group laid out its case in a written statement to the committee promising commitment to UK jobs.

Politicians have raised fears the company could compromise the UK’s scientific R&D sector if it buys Astrazeneca. Pfizer said it will locate 20 per cent of a combined company’s R&D in the UK.

Astrazeneca boss Pascal Soriot will also appear before the panel. He previously rebuffed a £50 a share offer from Pfizer as too low.

City A.M. understands Read will also meet with top fund house Woodford Investment Management, led by fund manager Neil Woodford, as well as other Astrazeneca shareholders.