Northampton South Conservative MP Brian Binley accused Pfizer CEO Ian’s Read evidence supporting the company’s takeover of AstraZeneca of being “a lot of sales talk, and very short on facts”.
The comment came during a televised meeting with the Business Committee this morning (Tuesday) to discuss the pharmaceutical giant’s takeover of the European business.
During the meeting, opposers of the £63 billion deal said any changes now would crucially disrupt AstraZeneca’s drug production and pointed to a negative history of Pfizer acquisitions which Mr Read, who has been with the company for 35 years, dismissed.
Mr Binley questioned the climate of uncertainty around the bid which has caused worry amongst AstraZeneca employees workers and asked if Pfizer intends to the takeover as a way of avoiding US taxes.
Following his recent blog on the dangers of “irresponsible” company takeovers that can be harmful to the companies themselves and their customers, Mr Binley asked business secretary Vince Cable: “What more might you do, to create a more level playing field?”
He also commented that “the world seems to becoming more protectionist, with the exception of the UK.”
When Mr Read had little response to the question of what Pfizer will do if AstraZeneca refuse their offer, Mr Binley said: “You are a businessman with 35 years of experience; you have a plan.”