The Prime Minister has received a letter from the Chief Executive of Pfizer and today (2 May 2014) spoke to the Chairman of AstraZeneca who set out the Board’s confidence in AstraZeneca’s strategy as an independent company. The Prime Minister is clear that the UK government regards the potential takeover bid as a matter for the respective boards and shareholders of the 2 companies.
However, the government is determined to secure great British science, research and manufacturing jobs in the life sciences sector. We want to see the sector continue to flourish and grow, with Britain retaining its scientific leadership and key R&D operations for the long-term, as well as its role as a leading manufacturing base. That is also the clear and consistent message we have given to Pfizer.
The letter from the chief executive of Pfizer is a positive sign with significant undertakings on research, jobs and investment. The government will consider these proposals carefully as to whether they offer sufficient protection of our priorities.
Obviously it remains unclear whether Pfizer’s takeover will actually proceed.