Monday 21 April 2014

Marlow cooks up massive drugs deal

Huge hat tip to Ben Marlow, the M&A reporter over at The Sunday Times. 

Ben - who is having an amazing story-breaking run at the moment - landed the scoop of the Easter weekend (and possibly the year) with his tale that US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has been weighing a £60 billion takeover bid for London-listed AstraZeneca.

Here is a link to Ben's original piece from yesterday:

I understand from excellent sources his piece is broadly correct. Pfizer and AstraZeneca held informal discussions a few months ago about the US company buying the FTSE 100-listed business for about £50.00 a share, according to my sources familiar with the matter.

Although the informal talks never went anywhere and have been discontinued, AstraZeneca has asked Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to work as 'defence' advisers ahead of any fresh approach from Pfizer.

Pfizer, according to my sources, has been using JP Morgan on its potential bid for AstraZeneca. This may surprise some sources as when the US company looked at buying Shire, another London-listed pharmaceutical company, back in 2008 Pfizer worked with Lazard.

Lazard, though, still may end up working on the AstraZeneca deal for Pfizer.

UPDATE: Here's quite a good Bloomberg TV cut with their take on the Pfizer AstraZeneca deal story:

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