Swedish trade unions voice concerns over possible takeover of AstraZeneca as suitor Pfizer mulls sweetening its £50-a-share offer
Concern: The American Viagra maker has until bank holiday Monday to table a formal bid or walk away having had its previous approaches rebuffed
Swedish trade unions are the latest to voice their concerns over a possible takeover of AstraZeneca as suitor Pfizer mulls sweetening its £50-a-share offer.
The American Viagra maker has until bank holiday Monday to table a formal bid or walk away having had its previous approaches rebuffed.
Reports at the weekend suggested that Ian Read, Pfizer’s boss, would enhance his offer and increase the cash element of any deal.
In addition to wanting a higher price – many analysts think Pfizer will have to offer around £55 a share – investors have been calling for the proportion of cash in any deal, currently at 32 per cent, to be lifted.
A spokesman for Astra decline to comment and Pfizer did not return calls.
It also seemed unlikely that the Government would be able to apply a public interest test to block the approach which applies specifically to media plurality, financial stability and national security. Any move beyond this could fall foul of Brussels laws.
Predictably Swedish unions, representing workers at AstraZeneca’s sites in Sweden have expressed deep concern over the proposed takeover by Pfizer.
Swedish trade unions Unionen, Akademikerföreningen and IF Metall, said: ‘We are deeply concerned over the negative consequences that a takeover would cause our members and the Swedish life science cluster.
‘Pfizer’s track record on mergers and acquisitions is quite scary. Takeover after takeover has been followed by redundancies and closures all over the world.’
In 2003 when Pfizer bought rival Pharmacia, which was founded in 1911 in Stockholm, the Swedish operations were significantly scaled down, and only a fraction now remain.
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