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January 27, 2009
Pfizer and the Credit Crunch
You might think that the Pfizer/Wyeth deal means that things are creeping back to normal in the M&A world. But the Wall Street Journal reports that Pfizer is having to pay about 8% for the money it's borrowing, and that the funds are due back in a year. There are also very significant clauses in the deal which make it contingent on Pfizer's bond ratings, etc., and will force the company to shell out if things don't go as planned. There's a 4.5 billion dollar breakup fee, for example, which seems to be about twice the usual contingency.
Meanwhile, Reuters notes that credit default swaps on Pfizer's debt have jumped, reflecting significant uncertainty about whether the whole deal will actually go through. Pfizer's likely to be downgraded even if things go smoothly, so this is going to be expensive from every direction. . .
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