AstraZeneca shareholder urges board back into talks with Pfizer

LONDON Tue May 20, 2014 5:55am EDT

LONDON May 20 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca's twelfth largest shareholder Schroders has joined a chorus of investor disapproval over its rejection of a takeover offer by Pfizer and urged it back into talks.

In a statement on Tuesday, the British fund manager, which holds a 2 percent stake in AstraZeneca, said it "would encourage the AstraZeneca management to recommence their engagement with Pfizer and subsequently their shareholders."

Schroders was also critical of intransigence on both sides after AstraZeneca rejected on Monday a 55 pounds per share bid by Pfizer which said it was its final offer.

"Schroders notes with disappointment the quick rejection by the AstraZeneca board of the latest offer from Pfizer and the decision of the Pfizer board to draw a premature end to these negotiations by calling their latest proposal final," Schroders said.

(Reporting by Chris Vellacott. Editing by Matt Scuffham)

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