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Drug leader in acquisition talks


Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is in discussions with rival US drug firm Wyeth about a possible takeover that would be worth around $60 billion (£43 billion), it has been reported.

But any deal is not set in stone as market volatility and a weak global economic climate mean the talks – which have been going on for the past few months – could collapse at any moment, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesman for Pfizer, the largest drug firm in the world on sales, said the company would not comment on “market rumours or speculation”.

It is expected that Pfizer will announce cost cutting and and restructuring moves as it faces a loss of sales due to the expiration of a patent on cholesterol drug Lipitor in 2011.

Experts predict that Pfizer would be likely to use a combination of cash and stock to acquire Wyeth. Details on pricing have not been announced.

Wyeth’s market capitalisation at about $52 billion (£37.5 billion) and premiums in the sector averaging at over 20% would make the deal worth more than $60 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Copyright Press Association 2009


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