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Bloomberg: Pfizer to raise AstraZeneca bid

  • Pfizer (PFE) intends to raise its bid for AstraZeneca (AZN) a second time to "modestly" above the current offer of £50 ($84) a share, Bloomberg reports, adding that the U.S. company will increase the cash portion of its proposal.
  • The new offer would come after AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer's previous bid of £62.6B ($106B) in which 32% was to be paid in cash and the rest in stock.
  • Pfizer is likely to make the new proposal only after U.K. parliamentary hearings about the deal, which are due to take place today and tomorrow. CEO Ian Read and AstraZeneca counterpart Pascal Soriot are set to testify, with Read likely to face questions about the strength of Pfizer's pledge to retain British workers and facilities.
  • In the U.S., Read has told the governors of Maryland and Delaware that it's too early to say how any deal would affect jobs and manufacturing in their states.
  • Separately, Pfizer has sold $4.5B in bonds to repay securities that mature within a year after increasing the auction from $4.25B.
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