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Unions blast 'negative consequences' for Sweden of a Pfizer-AZ deal

Say proposed takeover posed an imminent risk to country's life science sector

Pfizer AstraZeneca AZTrade unions representing workers at AstraZeneca's sites in Sweden have strongly criticised the proposed acquisition of the company by Pfizer and the US giants track record.

AZ today rejected an offer that Pfizer said represented its final proposal, but the firms still have until May 26 to agree a deal.

In a joint statement issued over the weekend the Swedish unions Unionen, Akademikerföreningen and IF Metall said: “We are deeply concerned over the negative consequences that a takeover would cause our members and the Swedish life science cluster.

“Substantial economic and medical values could be lost if we are not allowed to continue to work undisturbed to realise the huge potential in our research portfolio.”

Pointing to Pfizer's 2003 purchase of Sweden's Pharmacia the unions said: “Pfizer's historical track record on mergers and acquisitions is quite scary. Takeover after takeover has been followed by redundancies and closures all over the world."

They concluded: “Pfizer management has promised to secure jobs and research and development in Great Britain. In Sweden there is no such promise and the management has neither met with us, the trade union representatives, nor the government.

“We are fully convinced that it is of crucial national interest to secure a strong and independent AstraZeneca. Pfizer has not presented anything showing us that a takeover would be in the interest of our members, our colleagues all around Europe or the Swedish life science cluster.”

Article by
Dominic Tyer

19th May 2014

From: Research, Sales

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