UK-based drug manufacturer AstraZeneca has rejected an improved ‘final’ takeover offer from US-based Pfizer.
Under the terms of the £69bn final deal, AstraZeneca shareholders would receive £24.76 in cash and 1.747 shares in the combined company, worth a combined £55, for each share currently they hold.
The new proposal makes a substantial increase of about 15% over the current value of Pfizer’s 2 May proposal of £62.6bn.
According to Pfizer, the improved proposal of £55 per share is final and will not be increased as it increased the ratio of cash AstraZeneca shareholders would receive, from 33% to 45%.
Pfizer chairman and CEO Ian Read said the company believes that a Pfizer-AstraZeneca combination is in the best interests of all stakeholders.
"We stand by our unprecedented commitments to the UK Government," Read said. "We believe that the benefits to all stakeholders can only be maximised through cooperative engagement between both companies.
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"We have tried repeatedly to engage in a constructive process with AstraZeneca to explore a combination of our two companies."
The deal will see both Pfizer and AstraZeneca shareholders own around 74% and 26% respectively of the combined entity.
"Following a conversation with AstraZeneca earlier today, we do not believe that the AstraZeneca board is currently prepared to recommend a deal at a reasonable price," Read added.
"We remain ready to engage in a meaningful dialogue, but time for constructive engagement is running out. We have said from the beginning that we will remain disciplined in the price we are willing to pay and we will not depart from that guiding principle.
"We believe that our proposal represents compelling and full value for AstraZeneca and that other issues that have been raised by AstraZeneca do not represent material difficulties."
Earlier this month, Pfizer’s takeover bid of AstraZeneca raised concerns regarding the company’s commitment to research and development, as well as potential job losses in UK drug research.
According to Pfizer, together with Astrazeneca, it can open new opportunities to expand its global research capabilities and partnerships to better serve patients, BBC News reported.
Image: Pfizer world headquarters in New York City, US. Photo: courtesy of Jim.henderson.