You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • 2 firms to expand, add jobs
    A pair of companies will look to improve their operations with an investment of nearly $3 million combined, according to tax abatement ­requests filed last week with the city.
  • UPS boostsnumber ofholiday jobs
    DALLAS – UPS plans to hire up to 95,000 workers to help deliver packages during the busy holiday season – an increase from last year, when the company was caught unprepared for a boom in online shopping.
  • Voss opens its new headquarters
    A new North American headquarters has opened in Fort Wayne.Voss Automotive and state officials on Tuesday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the company’s new $7.
Advertisement
Associated Press
After dismissing Pfizer’s improved $119 billion offer as “opportunistic,” AstraZeneca saw its shares tumble 11 percent.

AstraZeneca kills $119 billion offer

– The board of AstraZeneca on Monday rejected the improved $119 billion takeover offer from U.S. drugmaker Pfizer, a decision that caused a sharp slide in the U.K. company’s share price as many investors think it effectively brings an end to the protracted and increasingly bitter takeover saga.

The board said in a statement that it “reiterates its confidence in AstraZeneca’s ability to deliver on its prospects as an independent, science led business.”

Pfizer, which is the world’s second-biggest drugmaker by revenue, has been courting No. 8 AstraZeneca since January, arguing their businesses are complementary. On Sunday, it raised its stock-and-cash offer by 15 percent to $118.8 billion. That would be the richest acquisition ever among drugmakers and the third-biggest in any industry, according to figures from research firm Dealogic.

AstraZeneca didn’t take long to reject the new offer, its board arguing Pfizer is making “an opportunistic attempt to acquire a transformed AstraZeneca, without reflecting the value of its exciting pipeline” of experimental drugs.

Because Pfizer said it won’t raise its offer again or launch a hostile takeover bid over the heads of AstraZeneca’s board, the prospect of a deal looks increasingly remote unless AstraZeneca shareholders urge a change of mind. Pfizer has said it hopes AstraZeneca’s shareholders will push for a deal.

“This has been going on for quite some time and we have been in very deep engagement over the whole of the weekend,” AstraZeneca Chairman Leif Johansson told the BBC. “If Pfizer now says this is the final offer I have to believe what they say.”

Shareholders in AstraZeneca PLC seemed to think a deal is now unlikely.

Though it has said its indicative offer is final, Pfizer has, under U.K. takeover rules, until 5 p.m. on May 26 to make a formal bid. If it doesn’t, it cannot make another offer for six months.

Advertisement