Rumor: Pfizer offered to buy AstraZeneca

Pfizer may have been looking to buy AstraZeneca. Bloomberg reports that the two drugmakers held informal talks a few months ago, according to a report they sourced to London's Sunday Times. The upshot of the rumors: Pfizer kicked around the number $101 billion.

Both companies have been in a flux of sorts: Pfizer has started readying its financials for a 2017 assessment that would help determine if it will divide into three businesses, while AstraZeneca has been undergoing years of back-to-back churn which have included acquisitions, several rounds of job cuts and naming a CEO.

Jefferies analyst Jeffrey Holford wrote in a Monday analysis that the combination doesn't seem to make sense for Pfizer  because it would mean riding out a string of patent losses through 2017, exacerbating Pfizer's “already large patent exposure.” Holford also discounts how helpful AZN's immuno-oncology portfolio could be for Pfizer, calling AstraZeneca's category pipeline not ‘well validated enough to justify such a large complex transaction.”

ISI's Marc Schoenebaum's Monday research note anticipates that Pfizer shareholders may not like an AstraZeneca scoop, but says such a move would give Pfizer an immuno-oncology foothold. Schoenebaum says Pfizer could not “realistically buy MRK or Roche,” to get into the IO field, which “leaves only AZN if PFE wants a seat at the leader's table.” Schoenebaum also notes that bringing AZN in-house could give Pfizer another shot at Alzheimer's, since it would acquire AstraZeneca's BACE inhibitor, in addition to giving Pfizer access to two other new categories: diabetes and respiratory.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form without prior authorization. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of Haymarket Media's Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions