Pfizer blames price for Astrazeneca deal collapse

Michael Bow
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Drug giant Pfizer yesterday said the £69bn bid to take over UK rival Astrazeneca collapsed due to price disagreements, as shares in the UK company rallied in the hope of a revival of talks.

Pfizer finance chief Frank D’Amelio told a US healthcare conference yesterday that the two sides did not come to a deal due to a difference in valuations.

Pfizer had its £55 a share offer rebuffed after two weeks of talks.

Shares in Astrazeneca rose 1.2 per cent to close at £44 yesterday.

The intervention came as Astrazeneca geared up to unveil scores of updates on its closely watched drug pipeline, which are due this weekend.

It will announce 43 reports on cutting edge diabetes research at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in San Francisco.

Briggs Morrison, leading Astrazeneca’s global medicines development arm, said that this data “includes trials evaluating our medicines in patients with significant comorbidities along with other anti-diabetic agents”.

Clinical data from prior approved products such as Forgia, Byudureon and Onglyza will also be shown.

Investors will have to scrutinise Astra’s primary claim of having a growing pipeline of high growth products in the medium to long term.

An Astrazeneca spokesperson told City A.M. that the Phase III data was “something analysts are showing real interest in”.

The firm is seeking to calm shareholders’ outrage over the collapse of the deal and the implications it will have for executive pay at the firm.

John Varley, ex-Barclays chief executive and chair of Astrazeneca’s pay committee, is being sought by investors for assurances that boardroom pay will be linked to results.

Sky News reported that investors want to meet Varley to discuss pay structure for chief executive Pascal Soriot.

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