As the deadline approached, Pfizer finally gave up on its goals of buying AstraZeneca for almost $118 billion on Monday.
For months the battle raged with the two magnates of the pharmaceutical industry. The ramifications of the battle and who might have won would send shockwaves globally regarding taxes, employment, stocks and more. Thanks to British guidelines and rules, both companies can give it another go in three months. Pfizer waked away after their firm offer under UK takeover guidelines and rules was not met. It was AstraZeneca’s refusal of the offer of share prices that sealed the fate of both.
Pfizer states that they’ll not be making another bid for AstrZeneca and that they wouldn’t go the hostile route by going to the stockholders themselves. Instead the future depends on the decision of AstraZeneca for the foreseeable future. AstraZeneca wanted 10% more than the share bid by Pfizer or no deal. This deal would have been the biggest merger of pharmaceutical companies in history.
Should AstraZeneca shares fall or disaster strike,, shareholders might see the advantage of going with Pfizer and push the board of AstraZeneca to cut a deal. It was reported that BlackRock the biggest of AstraZeneca’s shareholders agreed with the board’s decision to hold their ground against Pfizer, but aren’t closed to discussing the matter sometime soon.
The rancor from the UK, US, and Sweden was purely political with fears such a merger would cost thousands of jobs. In fourteen years, Pfizer has made three major mergers and acquiring AstraZeneca would have been a monster of a coup. It appears the real deal behind Pfizer’s chasing after AZ is the tax inversions which would allow them to reincorporate in Britain thus paying far less in corporate taxes as well as using tens of billions of dollars it has sequestered outside of the US avoiding taxes for repatriating large sums of money.