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Glaxo Chief Executive Rules Out Astra Takeover

Glaxo Chief Executive Rules Out Astra Takeover [Herald, the (Scotland)]

From Herald, The (Scotland) (May 4, 2012)

GlaxoSmithKline has no interest in buying smaller rival AstraZeneca, GSK’s chief executive said in response to a question at the company’s AGM.

AstraZeneca, Britain’s second-biggest drug maker, has suffered repeated development setbacks, stoking fears about its long-term prospects given a reliance on prescription medicines at a time when rivals have diversified.

The company’s future is in flux, following the planned early exit of its CEO David Brennan from June 1, leading some analysts to speculate it might become a takeover target.

GSK CEO Andrew Witty, however, told investors at the company’s AGM that buying a big company like AstraZeneca would be "very distracting".

The question of GSK buying AstraZeneca was raised by a small shareholder, who argued it would be more sensible than GSK’s $2.6 billion bid for Human Genome Sciences Inc.

GSK made an unsolicited bid for Human Genome Sciences last month, which was rejected.


Posted: May 2012