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Exclusive: Pfizer Insider Warns That Takeover Of Astrazeneca Could Be ‘Devastating’

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/exclusive-pfizer-insider-warns-that-takeover-of-astrazeneca-could-be-devastating-9318884.html

The row over Pfizer’s £63 billion takeover bid for the British drugs company AstraZeneca intensified last night as the predator’s own former top scientist railed against the way the US firm’s takeovers destroy research teams and stop the creation of new medicines.

Dr John LaMattina’s concerns about the damage his former company’s takeover sprees were doing to medical laboratories around the world fuelled fresh condemnation of the Viagra maker’s assault on AstraZeneca, which employs 7,000 staff in the UK and is a key part of the life sciences industry.

Yesterday, ministers appeared to give the deal their blessing after Pfizer gave assurances that it would not pull the plug on AstraZeneca’s jobs and research plans.

But critics, mindful of how the US food giant Kraft reneged on promises not to close a UK factory after it was allowed to buy Cadbury Schweppes in 2010, remain unconvinced.

Dr LaMattina retired as president of global research and development at Pfizer after 30 years’ service. He later published a paper in the academic journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, declaring: “In major mergers today, not only are R&D cuts made, but entire research sites are eliminated. Nowhere is this more evident than with Pfizer.”

Good to see the British govt protecting British interests! I'm sure the US company will honour it's side and not reduce the headcount.

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Just like Kraft promised with Cadbury, then reneged.

I was about to say the same thing. Why anyone any longer trusts the words of American capitalists these days, with regards to 'promises' of protecting jobs and investment etc, is beyond me.

Let the British regulatory powers step in and approve the purchase BUT with some hard penalties IF they buyer reneges within some pre-specified time - then we would see just how sincere the buyer is. If they stay the course and still want to buy then all and good.

Otherwise it would Cadburys, and the like, all over again, with pitiful bleating about how circumstances changed or they hadnt done proper due diligence and unearthed some hidden 'timebombs' in the business they were buying and how cost savings were now necessary.......

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/exclusive-pfizer-insider-warns-that-takeover-of-astrazeneca-could-be-devastating-9318884.html

Good to see the British govt protecting British interests! I'm sure the US company will honour it's side and not reduce the headcount.

City interests. The only thing Westminster gives a stuff about.

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Check out who will make money in the City from the deal, then if they are donors to the Tories.

Wouldn't make any difference if it was Labour, they're just as crooked.

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Check out who will make money in the City from the deal, then if they are donors to the Tories.

Wouldn't make any difference if it was Labour, they're just as crooked.

Yes, but tories pretend to stand for the free market. (when theyre not coming up with keynesian abominations like H2B)

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Why are these jobs more worthy than coal miners, steel workers or anything else for that matter?

Are they in tory marginals?

Supposedly they are part of our science base. Of course in way they are no more worthy of protection that those others you mention but if the myth about our science and knowledge economy the past and present governments spout is to have any value they need to be seen to at least do something to protect them.

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Who are the biggest Astra Zeneca's share holders? There might a price at some point that they will say yes....

The failed bid so far, has got nothing to do with the government and I think it will be unlikely that they will intervene and block a hostile take over.

If it is the employees that are the largest shareholders (highly unlikely), then a takeover could happen at some point because everybody has a price.

Edited by 200p

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Who are the biggest Astra Zeneca's share holders? There might a price at some point that they will say yes....

The failed bid so far, has got nothing to do with the government and I think it will be unlikely that they will intervene and block a hostile take over.

If it is the employees that are the largest shareholders (highly unlikely), then a takeover could happen at some point because everybody has a price.

The shareholders want talks, the board dont.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/epic/azn/10804040/AstraZeneca-Pfizer-offer-major-shareholder-urges-talks.html

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Pfizer are basically a sales and marketing organisation, that is what they are best at. They buy existing drug companies with a good product pipeline and then use their enormous scale and resources to extract more sales out of the drugs than would otherwise have been possible for a smaller organisation - or at least that's the theory.

Once the drugs from this company come off patient they will move onto the next company, buy their pipeline, rinse and repeat. This means there is little doubt they will scale down R&D within AZ over the medium term (or even the short term), that is their modus operandi.

Now you could argue that this does not have a negative effect overall, scaling down R&D in large companies opens up a gap for new biotech start-ups to open up new R&D operations, grow and then maybe one day be acquired by Pfizer.

However, you could equally argue that there is no reason that these new companies will start in the UK, and that the scale and cost of the R&D required to bring new treatments to market is so huge that it cannot realistically be done by smaller organisations.

I think it can be reasonably argued that given that pharma is one of our few remaining high-value industries, and that AZ reportedly consists of over 2% of our entire national R&D spend, this shouldn't just be waved through by a government dogmatically accepting the certainties of a laissez-faire ideology.

You wouldn't see the German (or even the American) government allowing this kind of thing happen without at least considering the implications.

Edited by Bear Goggles

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You wouldn't see the German (or even the American) government allowing this kind of thing happen without at least considering the implications.

Is there a more short termist government in the entire Western world than the UK?

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The row over Pfizer’s £63 billion takeover bid for the British drugs company AstraZeneca intensified last night as the predator’s own former top scientist railed against the way the US firm’s takeovers destroy research teams and stop the creation of new medicines.

They really need to start to think positive.

There's a good chance that if the deal goes through then the money or at least a good part of it will get into the UK housing market and give it another boost for the elections. They just aren't thinking straight.

At any rate it'll be a jolly good pay day for the financial sector in helping to arrange it and people are desperate to funnel money to them as well to stop them leaving the UK. Think positive.

Edited by billybong

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I heard a hedge fund representative/manager on R4 about this. The interviewer wanted to discuss job-losses, but the hedgie just kept banging on about the promise. When the interviewer suggested such promises were usually broken, the hedgie accused him of being cynical... lol.

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Simple solution for the government IF they don't want AZN to be swallowed : buy the shares in th open market.

And the same can be said for members of the public who feel likewise.

Here's a few home truths:

People, including the government bellyache on about championing british success stories like AZN. Fact is, the champions are the SHAREHOLDERS. Unlike the whingers banging on, they decided NOT to put all their money and 20 times more of somebody else's money into brixenmorta, and instead bought a slice of British industry, and maintained that support through some of the most dire years the stockmarket has ever seen.

The same can be said wrt people's attitude to energy company shares. The same people who pretend energy bills are confusing and energy company profits excessive, never thought to buy a £1000 worth of shares. Why not if such shares are such a frikken gold mine? Probably because, instead of choosing to hoard energy (well, that's what people think, don't they?), they chose to join a generation seeking to corner the market in property, going all in and 20 times more. Now faced with crippling mortgage payments, even as base rates hit 300 year lows, these same people desperately search around for somebody else to blame for their predicament. And yet how can it be that a price hike equivalent to less that 1/100th of their housing costs could possibly be responsible?

Returning to the AZN situation, imagine being a Lloyds shareholder in the early noughties, holding an interest in a company long denied the chance to expand because of competition concerns. You watch as idiots running every other bank and BS gift mortgages to no-hopers. Your shares languish whilst the competition sky-rockets on the back of paper profits made from writing dodgy mortgages, but that's okay, cos you own a responsible bank. Then the crunch hits: your shares stand firm amid the carnage. Then some pillock running the country promises a knighthood to some crook running your bank if he pays over the odds for the sack of cr@p they call HBOS: for some reason all previous competition concerns are no longer an issue it would seem! Just one small detail: shareholders are not told about the billions in debt HBOS owes to the treasury/BoE, which have been secretly leant to prop up the heap of cr@p. Next thing you know the shotgun marriage of HBOS and Lloyds wipes 80% off your investment and puts the company largely under government control. Now wind forward to 2014 and the government are again getting involved in your private financial affairs. This time they want to stop a takeover and thus stop you reaping the rewards of a long term investment, and every body in the contry seems to agree that's the right thing to do.

But where were the enquiries into the LLoyds / HBOS merger? Apparently Co-op should never have taken over Britannia, because it brought them down: well hello, I don't think HBOD did Lloyds much good either!

And where were the enquiries before our gold was sold? After all, that was the COUNTRY'S foreign exchange reserves. They were not PRIVATE assets, like AZN shares.

Where were the enquiries before convict,Thaksin Shinawatra, was allowed to buy Man City? Where were the enquiries before Abramovich was allowed to buy Chelsea FC. Where are the enquiries into the takeover of prime london real estate by Nigerians, Ukranians and Russians?

Presumably it is claimed our national interests are not threatened. Tell that to londoners who struggle to find a broom cupboard to buy in the capital. Tell that to those wondering why we are so impotent in the face of Russian aggression.

It's just all double standards and cheap political posturing. I'm sick to death with the whole chirade.

Edited by Sledgehead

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