Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the
report said a new bid may value AstraZeneca at more than 50
pounds ($84.47) per share and could come as early as next week.
Pfizer disclosed earlier this week that it had twice approached
AstraZeneca about a takeover, only to be rebuffed in both cases.
Pfizer and AstraZeneca declined to comment on the report.
Since Pfizer went public with its approach to AstraZeneca,
investors and analysts have been expecting the largest U.S.
drugmaker would come back with more than its initial offer worth
58.8 billion pounds ($98.9 billion) and increase the cash
component. Under British takeover rules, Pfizer has until May 26
to announce its intent to make an offer for AstraZeneca, or walk
When Astra turned down the Pfizer offer, it did not simply say
that the bid significantly undervalued the company; it put a
"very" in front of it, noted John Boris, an analyst with
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
"They're basically saying 'come back to me with a materially
higher offer,'" said Boris. He predicted that Pfizer would raise
the offer to about $110 billion, or $87 a share.
A purchase of AstraZeneca would not only bolster Pfizer's
pipeline of cancer drugs in development, but allow it to
redomicile in Britain to take advantage of significantly lower
tax rates there, and to use tens of billions of dollars it has
overseas without having to pay high taxes for bringing the cash
back to the United States.
Pfizer shares turned lower following the Bloomberg report and
were off 0.3 percent at $31.18 on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot and Ransdell Pierson;
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.