AstraZeneca fended off a $118 billion takeover
bid from its larger U.S. rival in May but there is speculation
Pfizer may return after Nov. 26, when it is allowed to make a
fresh public offer under British takeover rules.
"The U.S. rules have certainly raised the bar for tax inversions
for all companies that are considering tax inverting. They
almost entirely remove the tax benefits," Pascal Soriot told
reporters after presenting third-quarter results.
"It makes a tax inversion much less attractive."
He said he could not comment on how Pfizer would assess the
situation, but pointed to the collapse of AbbVie's planned $55
billion acquisition of Shire in another deal driven by tax
considerations as showing the problems.
"It sends a very strong signal that the tax inversion risk is
serious and has turned into a reality. It has cost AbbVie a lot
of money and it has cost Shire a lot of distraction," he said.
Soriot declined to comment on whether he might be interested in
moving to French drugmaker Sanofi, which sacked its CEO last
week. Many industry observers expect Sanofi's board to look for
a Frenchman to take over. However, Soriot, who is a French
citizen, said he saw himself as Australian, since his family was
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Kate Holton)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.