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AstraZeneca Plc’ share price down, being pushed by investors to reopen the negotiations with Pfizer

A person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are not public, reported that AstraZeneca Plc was pushed to continue the negotiations with its potential buyer Pfizer Inc. by its largest shareholder – BlackRock Inc. The suggestion was also backed up by another investor of the company.

Currently, BlackRock Inc. is a large institutional investor in both companies, because it holds 8% of AstraZeneca Plc and 6.8% of Pfizer Inc. It was backed by Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co., which owns 1.3% of AstraZeneca up to date. The investors encouraged the drug manufacturer to reopen the negotiations with Pfizer as early as August. The three-month period is required by the new regulatory rules for takeovers in the U.K.

Earlier this week, people close to the talks reported that BlackRock Inc. supported the drug makers decision to reject Pfizers sweetened cash-and-share bid, which was estimated to 69.4 billion pounds. However, the company believes the offer may be improved as early as this summer, which is why it now pushes AstraZeneca to start the talks all over again.

The shareholders opinions were split at the beginning of the week, when the British drug manufacturer rejected the “final” offer of Pfizer Inc. Part of the investors backed up the companys decision, but there were some that publicly called for further talks.

The co-head of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co. – Mr. Thomas Hancock said in an e-mail, which was cited by Bloomberg: “We’re very disappointed that AstraZeneca management has not agreed to terms we think are beneficial to the shareholders.”

Pfizers offer, which was said to be the “final” one, expires on Monday. The company, however, is given the opportunity to change the bids terms, but not its value, before the deadline. Some analysts believe that there is a possibility for a new offer made by Pfizer over the purchase of AstraZeneca.

As reported by the Financial Times, the analysts working for Barclays, said: “The probability of a future AstraZeneca acquisition is dimmed but not entirely extinguished.”

AstraZeneca Plc was losing 3.28% to trade at 4 275 pence per share by 8:58 GMT, marking a one year change of +22.65%.

Pfizer Inc. was 0.30% up to close at 29.66 dollars per share yesterday, marking a one-year change of +1.23%. According to the information published on CNN Money, the 14 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Pfizer Inc. have a median target of 34.00, with a high estimate of 41.00 and a low estimate of 29.00. The median estimate represents a 14.63% increase from the last price of 29.66.

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