Pharma Drama: Pfizer Fails to Woo AstraZeneca; Valeant Pursues Allergan

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It seems Pfizer Inc.’s (NYSE:PFE) attempts to woo AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) have failed, as AstraZeneca has rejected an offer from the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, according to a report from The New York Times. Had the merger gone through, it would have been one of the largest pharmaceutical industry mergers in recent historysurpassing Pfizer’s previous $90 billion takeover of Warner Lambert.

Analysts are divided about whether AstraZeneca would have benefitted from a potential acquisition by Pfizer. London-based AstraZeneca is hoping to grow on its own, and Pfizer has sometimes found major acquisitions to be more distracting than helpful.

The New York Times reports that AstraZeneca’s board viewed Pfizer’s approaches as “ill-timed,” and with too small of a takeover premium.

Analysts say they expect Pfizer to approach AstraZeneca a second time, although it’s possible the company, worth about $87 billion, could decide to merge with another, similarly sized company, such as Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), in an effort to avoid Pfizer. Analysts at Albert Fried & Co. say Dublin-based Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG) would be their pick for such a merger, and others have suggested Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) as more suitable merger candidate for Pfizer, according to Bloomberg.

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