(Adds comment from Pfizer)
May 8 The governors of Maryland and Delaware on
Thursday sent a letter to Pfizer Inc Chief Executive
Officer Ian Read "expressing deep concerns" about the
pharmaceutical company's bid to acquire London-based AstraZeneca
The letter, from Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and
Delaware Governor Jack Markell, questions the impact of the deal
on jobs in both states as well as Pfizer's open interest in
relocating its corporate base to Britain to lower its federal
AstraZeneca employs around 3,100 people in Maryland, and
around 2,600 people in Delaware, according to the letter.
AstraZeneca has rejected successive approaches from its
larger American rival, which is offering $106 billion for
Britain's second-largest drugs company.
In an emailed statement, Pfizer said it has spoken with the
two governors and understands and appreciates their concerns.
"We believe this potential combination presents an excellent
opportunity to create a leading company in our global industry,"
Pfizer said. "We believe a potential combination with
AstraZeneca would build a stronger company by bringing together
our assets, people and scientific expertise to create vibrant
businesses with new potential growth and opportunities to meet
In the U.K., the potential deal has also raised fears that
resulting cost cutting would see the loss of thousands of
skilled jobs, undermining that nation's science base.
To reassure the British government about its proposal,
Pfizer has promised the combined company would keep 20 percent
of its research and development workforce in the country. It
also vowed to complete construction of a research center planned
by AstraZeneca in Cambridge, England, and retain a manufacturing
plant in the northern town of Macclesfield.
(Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and