Pfizer appeals for "engagement" from AstraZeneca board

Harriet Green
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Pfizer has published another presentation it’ll give to AstraZeneca shareholders on what it calls the “compelling rationale” for the potential combination of the two drugs giants.

It says it “remains disappointed” by the “lack of engagement by the AstraZeneca board” when it comes to discussing the deal.

Ahead of Pfizer’s Ian Read’s arrival in the UK to face the Business Committee later today, Pfizer says the transaction would offer a strong strategic, operational and financial fit for both companies.

...If AstraZeneca engages in conversations to provide Pfizer with a better understanding of its business and its prospects it may lead to a transaction that AstraZeneca can recommend.

The presentations also details problems Pfizer believes AstraZeneca faces as a company:

  • Predictability of revenue loss - major products with... total sales of circa $14bn facing near-term patent expiration.
  • Uncertainty of revenue potential - attractive but high-risk early stage pipeline that still requires significant investment.
  • Potential lack of sufficient scale to compete against large national players in emerging markets.

Pfizer stressed its ability to work with AstraZeneca to “deliver optimal deal terms and structure”. It added:

The possible offer put forward by Pfizer on 2 May 2014 was based solely on public information. Engagement would provide AstraZeneca management with the opportunity to provide Pfizer a better understanding of the business and its prospects, and the credible basis for their new long-range targets.

According to Bloomberg, Pfizer may be planning to up the value of its bid for AstraZeneca again. The current offer is £50 a share in cash and stock.