Britain says considering Pfizer's reassurances in Astra battle

LONDON Fri May 2, 2014 8:08am EDT

LONDON May 2 (Reuters) - Britain's government said it was considering whether reassurances made by Pfizer over its potential takeover of AstraZeneca offered sufficient protection to maintain the country's life sciences sector and related jobs.

Pfizer said earlier on Friday it had written to Prime Minister David Cameron pledging to retain British jobs and a planned scientific research hub in Cambridge if it succeeds in its bid to take over its British rival.

"The letter from the chief executive of Pfizer is a positive sign. The government will consider these proposals carefully as to whether they offer sufficient protection of our priorities," the Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

The statement added that the government still regarded any deal as a matter for the boards and shareholders of the two companies.

AstraZeneca earlier on Friday rejected a sweetened bid from the U.S. firm. (Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)

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