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Woodford backs Astra rebuff of Pfizer's 'final offer'

by Danielle Levy on May 20, 2014 at 07:55

Woodford backs Astra rebuff of Pfizer's 'final offer'

Leading fund manager Neil Woodford has warned that politicians should leave the fate of corporate takeover bids to boards and shareholders, as AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer's 'final offer'.

Woodford told Sky News that he is supportive of AstraZeneca's rejection of Pfizer's £69.3 billion bid, particularly as an investor in early-stage medical research businesses. However, he warned the UK should not take a protectionist stance towards takeovers.

'It is right that the market decides,' Woodford said.

'I share the concerns about critical infrastructure of the UK's science base and jobs, because I have been an investor in early-stage medical research businesses and know that the loss of key jobs can be damaging.

'Politicians should not be deciding these things. A free market in corporate control is appropriate, because boards and shareholders should decide the destiny of the ownership of companies.'

On Monday, AstraZeneca's shares fell more than 11% to £42.81 on the news that Astra would not accept a £55 per share offer from Pfizer.

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