Pfizer Presses Case for AstraZeneca Deal Ahead of U.K. Hearing

Pfizer Inc. pressed its case for buying AstraZeneca hours before the chief executives of both companies are scheduled to appear before U.K. lawmakers to discuss Pfizer’s pursuit of the country’s second-biggest drugmaker.

In a presentation to AstraZeneca shareholders published today, Pfizer repeated its rationale for the deal, saying a deal would create an industry leader with scale and operational efficiency as well as a broader portfolio of experimental medicines. AstraZeneca faces challenges as a standalone company, including the declining revenue from products losing patent protection, Pfizer said.

The offer proposed by Pfizer on May 2, which AstraZeneca rejected as undervaluing the company, was based solely on public information, Pfizer said today in a statement. Talks between the companies would enable AstraZeneca’s management to provide Pfizer with a better understanding of the company, Pfizer said.

“Constructive engagement may lead to a transaction that AstraZeneca can recommend,” Pfizer said. “Pfizer will continue to be disciplined on price.”

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