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May 2, 2014
AstraZeneca Tell Pfizer to Buzz Off
That's what I gather from this report, anyway. Reports had leaked out that Pfizer was going to make a higher offer for AZ shares, and that happened earlier this morning. But AstraZeneca's board has turned it down flat, saying that it undervalues the company and "is not an adequate basis" for further discussions.
You'd figure that Pfizer has been sounding out some large shareholders about an appropriate figure, so they have a rough idea of what it would take to win a hostile bid. I'd guess that they're still not ready to go that route, though, and since this latest offer isn't a huge advance on the first public one, they're probably going to come back with another one after they've let AZ's management bake in the sun for a little while. Unfortunately, I still can't come up with a reasonably probable way that leads to Pfizer just buzzing off as requested. They've run their numbers, they have an opportunity, and they know what they're willing to pay. What's going on now are their efforts to keep the deal from happening in the top end of their calculated range. But I have to think that what Pfizer is willing to pay is also high enough to get enough AstraZeneca shareholders to go along. I hope I'm wrong about that.
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