AstraZeneca ups defence against Pfizer pursuit
British drugmaker AstraZeneca said Tuesday it was targeting annual revenues of more than $45 billion (32 billion euros) by 2023, upping its defence against a takeover bid from US rival Pfizer.
AstraZeneca said it was eyeing a huge jump in revenues over the coming years compared to a 2013 total of $25.7 billion thanks to its pipeline of cancer drugs -- treatments that caused Pfizer to last week sweeten its bid to $106 billion for the British company.
Having turned down the offer, and at risk of now facing a hostile takeover battle, AstraZeneca on Tuesday said it was "targeting strong and consistent revenue growth leading to annual revenues of greater than $45 billion by 2023".
Pfizer's tilt at AstraZeneca comes as global pharmaceutical giants are forming sector deals worth billions of dollars to cope with lost revenues from patent expirations and the effects of public cuts on health care spending.
Analysts said a takeover, which would see the merged company registered in Britain, allow Pfizer to also avoid paying billions of dollars in tax to the US government.
© 2014 AFP