US drugs giant Pfizer has withdrawn its multi-billion takeover bid for UK pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.

US drugs giant Pfizer has withdrawn its multi-billion takeover bid for UK pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.

The US company said it would not pursue the AstraZeneca takeover past a bid deadline on Monday.

AstraZeneca rejected a final offer from Pfizer earlier this month, saying the proposal undervalued the company and its “attractive prospects”.

Nevertheless, in recent weeks some AstraZeneca shareholders had said they wanted the firm to engage with Pfizer.

Pfizer said in a statement: “Following the AstraZeneca board’s rejection of the proposal, Pfizer announces that it does not intend to make an offer for AstraZeneca.”

By then AstraZeneca shareholders believe the US government will have gone a long way to closing the tax loophole which was one of the reasons for Pfizer being so attracted to AstraZeneca.

Under UK takeover rules, Pfizer must wait six months before making a fresh bid for AstraZeneca, unless invited to do so by the company.

By then AstraZeneca shareholders believe the US government will have gone a long way to closing the tax loophole which was one of the reasons for Pfizer being so attracted to AstraZeneca.

Pfizer encountered opposition to its bid on a number of fronts, including from Labour leader Ed Miliband, who said assurances about its proposed takeover of AstraZeneca were “worthless”.

However, investors including BlackRock, Legal & General, Axa and Schroders made it clear that they wanted the company to engage with Pfizer.

BBC NEWS

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