This is a crucial week for Pfizer, which is about to gain control of AstraZeneca through an unsolicited $106 billion bid.
Lawmakers will scrutinize the heads of both companies on Tuesday and Wednesday about issues of increased public anxiety on the acquisition’s impact on scientific research and jobs.
To ease the anxiety, Pfizer released to two parliamentary committees a written submission last Monday, which reads that it will have “legally binding” commitments to make sure that research and development will be supported after the deal is complete.
Pfizer said that the binding agreement would be according to English law to ensure the company’s commitment.
The American pharmaceutical giant committed that it will complete AstraZeneca’s research and development hub, which will be built in Cambridge. It will also get 20% of its total R&D workforce from UK. Lastly, Pfizer said it will retain the important manufacturing facilities that are based in the UK.
AstraZeneca has rejected the advances that Pfizer has made so far because Pfizer’s £50 a share is deemed inadequate by AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca believes it can handle its own investments to develop new and effective treatment for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and caner. It believes that they do not require support coming from the outside.
AstraZeneca has created a strategy to increase its revenue to over 75% in the next decade. Pfizer is reportedly trying to win public opinion by making sweeter offers to make AstraZeneca’s heads to talk.
Pfizer’s acquisition on AstraZeneca is considered as the biggest takeover of a British company by a foreign company. It is also Pfizer’s biggest pharmaceutical acquisition after its $112 billion acquisition of Warner Lambert back in 2000.
The acquisition would expand Pfizer’s portfolio to cancer treatments and it will help them have their foreign profit taxed in UK.
Pharmaceutical is one of the most important industries in the UK economy comprising of 175,000 employees and spending an annual £5 billion on R&D. This is why there is heavy pressure on the British government to intervene in the deal.