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Pfizer chief Read flies in to pitch Astra deal to UK government

Published on Apr 30, 2014 4:36 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read flew into London on Tuesday to pitch his planned US$100 billion (S$125 billion) takeover of rival British drugmaker AstraZeneca to government ministers and urge them not to obstruct the deal.

The British government has so far adopted a neutral stance on the matter - in part because Pfizer has yet to make a firm bid - but behind the scenes officials are warning Pfizer against making draconian research job cuts, industry sources said.

A spokesman for the US company said Mr Read was meeting a number of key "stakeholders" in Britain, but declined to give further details.

One person familiar with the situation said Mr Read's agenda on Tuesday had included a visit to the Treasury, or finance ministry.

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