Wednesday, October 22, 2014   

AstraZeneca shares down as Pfizer withdraws takeover bid
(05-27 19:13)

Shares in AstraZeneca slid on Tuesday, one day after US drugmaker Pfizer scrapped its controversial takeover bid for the British pharmaceuticals giant.
AstraZeneca's share price dropped 1.79 percent to 42.50 pounds in midday deals on London's FTSE 100 index, which rose 0.51 percent to 6,850.73 points.
Pfizer on Monday announced that it had decided to walk away after making a final friendly US$117-billion takeover offer.
The London stock market was closed on Monday for a public holiday.
The improved and "final'' bid, pitched at 55 pounds per share, was rejected last week by AstraZeneca's management who wanted at least 58.85 pounds.
"The failure of what would have been the sector's largest M&A (merger and acquisition) ever was the result of a very narrow difference on the... price,'' noted analyst Fabian Wenner at brokerage Kepler Cheuvreux.
Pfizer's announcement on Monday put an end to a long-running saga that drew widespread attention over fears that British jobs and research capability would be lost and accusations that the tie-up was a cynical ploy by Pfizer to pay less tax.
"It seems fair to say that an important component of the deal's failure had to do with potential UK job losses and the UK's attractiveness as a place to do research and development,'' added Wenner. --AFP
   
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