Dividend cuts on way as Pfizer grabs Wyeth

Pfizer, the world's biggest drugs company, today bought rival Wyeth for £50billion.

Viagra maker Pfizer raised $22.5billion (£16.2billion) from a consortium of banks to finance the buy, and said that it will be cutting its dividends.

The deal is regarded as a protective move by US-based Pfizer, which is anticipating a huge fall in profits when its popular anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor comes out of patent protection in 2011.

The deal is the largest in the sector since Pfizer bought Warner-Lambert for $93.4billion in 2000.

Drug deal: Pfizer has bought rival Wyeth

Drug deal: Pfizer has bought rival Wyeth

Analysts believe it could inspire a wave of consolidation in the cash-rich pharmaceuticals industry as drug firms look to lessen the impact of generic drug alternatives.

'Deals of this quality and this magnitude will rekindle enthusiasm and hope about equity markets,' said Andre Bakhos of Princeton Financial Group.

'In the midst of a global recession, here is Pfizer, hopefully spending their dollars wisely.

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