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AstraZeneca CEO says new Pfizer bid unlikely

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December 21
12:19 AM 2014

U.S. Pfizer is unlikely to come back with a fresh bid for AstraZeneca, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals group's top executive was quoted as saying by Swedish business daily Dagens Industri on Saturday.

AstraZeneca saw off a $118 billion approach from Pfizer in May and British takeover rules now allow Pfizer to renew its pursuit.

"I consider it unlikely that Pfizer will return with a bid," AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot told the newspaper.

Soriot had said last month that a U.S. clampdown on tax inversions had made the lucrative tax basis underpinning Pfizer's approaches more uncertain.

"I can't say it will never happen, but the probability that Pfizer returns is much less," Soriot told Dagens Industri.

The U.S. company signed a major cancer drug deal with Merck KGaA last month, reducing its need for AstraZeneca's products.

"Above all our share price has risen, so we have become more expensive. Today's share price is at a level with the first offer Pfizer made early this year," Soriot told the paper.

AstraZeneca shares are up 28 percent this year.

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