Pfizer ditches £69bn AstraZeneca takeover bid

US pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer has dropped its £55 a share, takeover bid for UK competition AstraZeneca, after the firm's board rejected the offer.

Pfizer released a statement saying: “Following the AstraZeneca board’s rejection of the proposal, Pfizer announces that it does not intend to make an offer.”

AstraZeneca rejected the offer, saying it undervalued the company.

The firm, which employs 2,000 in Macclesfield, was keen to meet with Pfizer to discuss the bid. Company chairman Leif Johansson, said: “AstraZeneca will continue building on the momentum we have already demonstrated as an independent company.”

Under rigid takeover regulations, the US organisation had until the evening of May 26 to make a further offer and will now have to wait six months before making another bid for the company.

However, the British company could invite Pfizer to negotiations in three month’s time if they wish.

In the meantime, AstraZeneca shareholders believe the US government will close a tax loophole, which first attracted the firm to the UK manufacturers.