Pfizer's CEO Ian Read appeared before the Business, Innovation aand Skills Committe in parliament today to answer questions about his/Pfizer's intentions should its acquisition of AZ come to pass. Nothing much happened. Read repeated that he is committed to R&D in the UK, will finish AZ's Cambridge campus, and will retain 20% of Pfizer's R&D assets in the UK. None of this was (or could be) quantified in terms of headcount and no projections were made versus other geogrpahies. Though it was generall conceded that a Pfizer-AZ combination will have a smaller R&D budget once combined than the sum of their current budgets. That means jobs will be lost somewhere.
The MPs for their part got to grandstand. They harried Mr Read over his unwillingness (or inability) to be specific about headcount or exact expenditures in the UK post-acquisition. They also reminded him of prior "bad acts" by Pfizer in other mergers -- at least according to their viewpoint. It all made for great press/TV but did not reveal much new.
Pfizer still wants to buy AZ. Pfizer still wants the UK tax cuts. The UK no doubt wants the new company as long as the net revenue effect is positive for them. Ho-hum. See Bloomberg 1 & 2, The Financial Times, In the Pipeline, PharmaTimes, and Fierce Biotech.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 13th 2014.