Shares of U.K.-headquartered drug-maker AstraZeneca (AZN) surged more than 15% in Monday morning trading after U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE) said it had made an acquisition overture to AZN.
PFE shares climbed almost 3% on the news. PFE indicated that it had held “high level” discussions with AZN executives in January about a potential takeover under which it would have paid $76.62 per AZN share — a 30% premium over AZN’s trading price at the time — valuing AstraZeneca at about $98.68 billion. AZN issued a statement saying the Pfizer’s bid “significantly undervalued AstraZeneca and its prospects,” the Wall Street Journal noted.
On Saturday, Pfizer’s CEO asked AZN to issue a statement revealing that the companies were discussing deal. However, AZN’s board rejected the request “absent a specific and attractive proposal.”
If a takeover happens, PFE said the merger company would be incorporated in the U.K., but would maintain is headquarters in New York. The combined entity’s stock would be listed on the NYSE.
On Friday, AZN stock closed at $68.66 per share, while PFE stock closed at $30.75 per share.
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