Pfizer confirms merger discussions with AstraZeneca

NEW YORK — U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer this morning confirmed discussions with AstraZeneca regarding a possible merger. If the transaction goes through, it's expected that the two companies will combine under a new U.K-incorporated holding company.

Pfizer said it would expect the combined company to have management in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with head offices in New York. AstraZeneca was approached in January 2014 regarding a possible merger, but the company declined to continue with negotiations at that time.

“We have great respect for AstraZeneca and its proud heritage as an innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a rich science-based foundation in both the United Kingdom and Sweden. In addition, the United Kingdom has created attractive incentives for companies to manufacture products and maintain and protect intellectual property, and we have seen that capital and jobs have followed these types of incentives," Pfizer said. "“We believe patients all over the globe would benefit from our shared commitment to R&D, which is critical to the future success of the pharmaceutical industry, in the form of potential new therapies that help to fight some of the world’s most feared diseases, such as cancer."

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