Pfizer says its commitments to UK legally binding

LONDON Mon May 12, 2014 5:31am EDT

LONDON May 12 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer said on Monday its commitments to preserving British science jobs if it wins a $106 billion battle to take over AstraZeneca were legally binding.

"To ensure our commitments are binding, we included them with our proposed offer announcement understanding fully that they would be binding as a matter of English law," the group said in a statement to British lawmakers, ahead of a May 13 panel meeting.

Pfizer has given a five-year commitment to complete AstraZeneca's new research centre in Cambridge, retain a factory in the northwestern English town of Macclesfield and put a fifth of its research staff in Britain if the deal goes ahead.

But the U.S. firm has also said it could adjust those promises if circumstances change "significantly". (Reporting by Ben Hirschler, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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