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UK PM Says He's Playing Fair On AstraZeneca Deal

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May 11, 2014 AT 8:12 AM
Britain's leader sought Sunday to deflect criticism that he's been working too closely with U.S. drugmaker Pfizer in its proposed $106-billion takeover of the Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. With fears growing that British jobs will be lost and the nation's science base undermined in the potential merger, Prime Minister David Cameron denied in a BBC interview that he was favoring the American company. When asked on The Andrew Marr Show whether he was engaging more closely with Pfizer, Cameron insisted that wasn't the case, saying, "Ministers were talking to AstraZeneca before anyone spoke to Pfizer." Pfizer has made three offers for AstraZeneca since January — all of which have been rejected. AstraZeneca said Pfizer's latest offer of $106 billion in cash and stock undervalues the company and that a takeover would disrupt its work on a potentially lucrative pipeline of new drugs.