AstraZeneca Slumps After Pfizer Walks Away

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One week after AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN) rejected Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)’s takeover bid, Pfizer withdrew it. Monday at 5 p.m. London time was the deadline by when Pfizer had to say whether it was going to stop pursuing AstraZeneca. The last bid placed an approximate value of $119 billion on AstraZeneca and would have resulted in the biggest drug maker in the world.

Shares of AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN) slumped more than 2% at the London Stock Exchange, while American Depository Shares declined nearly 2% in premarket trading at the New York Stock Exchange. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) shares rose by less than 1% in premarket trading this morning.

Pfizer’s withdrawal may be temporary

Associated Press reports (via The Boston Globe) that this may only be a temporary reprieve in Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)’s pursuit of AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN). Some analysts say Pfizer still must find a way to keep growing.

Now that Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) has officially withdrawn its offer for AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN), it will be six more months before it can make another one. However, if AstraZeneca asks the U.S. drug maker to make another offer, it can do so in 90 days.

Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca hasn’t been pretty

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) has been trying to convince AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) (LON:AZN) that they should merge since January. AstraZeneca has been resisting Pfizer’s advances, although Pfizer said it would not pursue a hostile bid, according to The New York Times. Pfizer had made several bids for AstraZeneca, all of which the U.K. drug maker has rejected. Shareholders of AstraZeneca had been split, with some supporting a merger and others rejecting it. According to The New York Times, AstraZeneca’s largest shareholder, BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), wanted AstraZeneca to go back to the bargaining table with Pfizer about potentially making a deal later.

Meanwhile lawmakers on both sides of the pond had expressed their dislike of the deal, citing concerns about job losses. Historically, Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) has shut down offices and slashed jobs when gobbling up other companies in the past. Lawmakers in the U.K. have been especially concerned about economic recovery and wanted Pfizer to make a firmer agreement not to cut jobs there.

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