Pfizer Considering $100 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

April 22nd, 2014 by James

Pfizer (PFE.N), U.S. pharmaceutical giant, has approached British rival AstraZeneca (AZN.L) for proposing a 60 billion pound ($101 billion) takeover, according to Britain’s Sunday Times.

Pfizer Considering $100 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

The newspaper cited senior investment bankers and industry sources as saying that informal talks about a deal had taken place between the two but that no talks were presently underway after AstraZeneca resisted the approach. AstraZeneca, Britain’s second-biggest pharmaceuticals group, is commonly touted as a potential takeover target as it fights with patents expiring on a number of best-selling drugs.

The company has managed to attract attention for experimental cancer drugs it is developing and its acquisition may be good news for Pfizer that has faced patent losses of its own, notably anti-cholesterol treatment Lipitor. Pfizer could use cash it has accumulated through overseas subsidiaries that if repatriated to the U.S. would be heavily taxed.

AstraZeneca has a market valuation of around $80 billion, compared with Pfizer – valued at $193 billion, according to Thomson Reuters’ data. In the fourth quarter of 2013, earnings at AstraZeneca fell 6 percent and the company said it is expecting earnings to keep falling in 2014 as generic competition to Nexium takes a big bite out of U.S. profits from late May.

The last big acquisition of Pfizer was in 2009, when it bought U.S. rival Wyeth for $68 billion.

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