Pfizer underscores UK commitments in memo (Update)

May 12, 2014 by Danica Kirka
In this Friday, May 2, 2014 file photo, an exterior view of the Two Kingdom Street building which houses the headquarters of AstraZeneca, in the Paddington area of London. Pfizer Inc. has sought to allay concerns over its proposed $106 billion takeover offer of the Anglo-British firm AstraZeneca, insisting that its promises will be legally binding. In a memo Monday, May 12, 2104 to two parliamentary committees studying its proposed takeover, the U.S. drugmaker laid outs its vision ahead of testimony before the science and business committees. Crucially, the company sought to ease worries that British jobs will be lost and that the nation's science base will be undermined by the potential merger. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Pfizer Inc. has sought to allay concerns over its proposed $106 billion takeover offer of Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca, insisting that its promises will be legally binding.

In a memo Monday to two U.K. parliamentary committees studying its proposed overture, the U.S. drugmaker laid out its vision ahead of its testimony before the science and business committees. Crucially, it sought to ease worries that British jobs will be lost and that the nation's science base eroded by the potential merger.

It repeated promises to complete AstraZeneca's research and development hub in Cambridge and to establish the new company's tax residence in England.

"Delivering on these commitments will make us a stronger company that delivers benefits to patients, value to shareholders, and creates and protects high value jobs," the memo said.

The maker of Viagra has already written to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to offer commitments, but the memo bolstered the message, saying the promises were "binding as a matter of English law."

The cash and stock deal has become politically fraught, with much of the debate centering on whether Pfizer can be trusted to honor promises in what would be the biggest foreign takeover of a British business. Cameron has been accused by the opposition Labour Party of being a cheerleader for the deal.

The British leader was forced Sunday in a BBC interview to reject the notion that he was favoring Pfizer. But he also said Britain should not "put up the drawbridge" to outside investment.

Pfizer has made three approaches to AstraZeneca since January—all of which have been rejected. AstraZeneca said Pfizer's latest offer undervalues the company and that a takeover would disrupt its work on a potentially lucrative pipeline of new drugs.

The potential deal comes amid a spate of mergers among pharmaceutical companies, who are seeking to find new ways to grow as generic drugmakers move in to make cheaper versions of products with expiring patents.

Explore further: Pfizer argues for AstraZeneca deal in web videos

Related Stories

Pfizer argues for AstraZeneca deal in web videos

May 10, 2014
Pfizer posted videos online Saturday in its latest effort to win over critics of its proposed purchase of British drugmaker AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca rejects sweetened Pfizer takeover bid (Update)

May 2, 2014
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said Friday that it hasn't given up on a deal after British drugmaker AstraZeneca flatly rejected its latest takeover bid, worth $106 billion.

AstraZeneca fends off Pfizer with new growth plan

May 6, 2014
AstraZeneca on Tuesday outlined plans to make sales jump over the next decade, an effort to persuade shareholders the drug maker can do well as an independent company, rather than get bought out by rival Pfizer.

Drug giants Pfizer, AstraZeneca in $100bn merger tussle (Update)

April 28, 2014
US drugs giant Pfizer wants a blockbuster merger with British rival AstraZeneca that will fuel cancer research, revealing on Monday that an informal approach worth almost $100 billion had been rejected.

Pfizer, Teva reach deal to allow generic Viagra

December 17, 2013
Pfizer says it reached a settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals that allows the generic drugmaker to launch a copycat version of its popular erectile dysfunction drug Viagra in 2017.

Pfizer 1Q profit drops 15 pct due to lower sales (Update)

May 5, 2014
Despite sharply lower expenses and taxes, Pfizer Inc.'s first-quarter profit dropped 15 percent, due to cheaper generic competition for multiple medicines and some promotion partnerships with other drugmakers ending.

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.