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Bayer wants Merck's consumer drugs

BERLIN – The German pharmaceutical company Bayer entered into exclusive negotiations to purchase Merck's consumer drug division.


The offer, according to reports from sources close to the negotiations between the companies, would amount to about 14 billion dollars, to be paid partly in cash and partly with an exchange of pharmaceutical assets, with the probably formation of a common joint venture. Bayer remained the only one in contention after the withdrawal of the British Reckitt Benckiser.


2.05.2014 – TICINO COURIER


AstraZeneca, Pfizer raise offer to 50 pounds, but British company says no


Friday, May 2, 2014 Reuters


LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca also rejected a new takeover offer by US drugmaker Pfizer, which raised its offer to £50 ($84.47) per share. The board of the British company said no to the improvement proposal which values the group at 106 billion dollars, or 63 billion pounds, stressing that the offer does not fully value the group.


"Pfizer's proposal will dramatically dilute AstraZeneca's shareholder exposure to our unique pipeline and create risks to its realization," said chairman Leif Johansson. "Therefore, the board has no hesitation in rejecting the proposal."


AstraZeneca had previously rejected an earlier proposal that valued the group at below $100bn or £46.61 per share.


The US group would prefer a shared solution with its rival since hostile takeover bids usually last a long time, require a higher final price and involve a series of risks because the bidder does not have access to the books to evaluate the business. The marriage to the British company would allow the US pharmaceutical giant to increase its pipeline in anti-cancer drugs, reduce its tax burden and create significant cost cuts.


“Given where the stocks came from, that doesn't seem unreasonable,” says a fund manager. A year ago AstraZeneca stock was worth £30. On the Stock Exchange today, the stock dropped 0.2% to £48.06.


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