LONDON, April 28 Pfizer Chief Executive
Ian Read said the U.S. drugmaker had contacted the British
government on Monday about its desire to acquire AstraZeneca
in a potential $100 billion deal to create a new drugs
"We reached out to the UK government this morning. We've
have some initial preliminary discussions," Read told reporters
in a conference call.
"We want to have a conversation with the government about
the excitement we have about combining these portfolios, the
excitement we have about the strength of UK research," he said.
"This combination, if it occurs, would create domiciled in
the UK the largest pharmaceutical company in the world and would
bring an injection of about $100 billion into the UK economy."
The suggested deal has triggered worries about jobs in
Britain's drug sector, viewed by the government as a key
Read said he saw Britain as an attractive location for
pharmaceutical research and manufacturing - helped by recent
government tax incentives - but added he could not make any firm
commitments on future investment or jobs.
Britain's finance minister George Osborne has indicated a
hands-off approach to any deal between the two drugmakers, which
he described on Friday as "a commercial matter between the
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Kate Kelland)