Pfizer’s initial offer for AstraZeneca is plainly dead in the water | Analysis

AstraZeneca would be entitled to demand close to £60 a share before it even thinks about talking

The first task of a company on the receiving end of a lowball bid is to dress it up in its best clothes to look stunning in front of its shareholders. AstraZeneca put on a decent show on Tuesday by forecasting annual revenues could rise to $ 45bn (£26.5bn) by 2023, a rise of more than 75% from the present level.

A year ago such a projection would have been laughed out of court. David Brennan had only just been eased out as chief executive and memories of his missed sales targets were fresh. Successor Pascal Soriot, however, can fairly boast that in the course of 18 months AstraZeneca’s pipeline of potential drugs has been transformed from one of the weakest in the world of Big Pharma to one with real promise.

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