Pfizer Fights Backlash on AstraZeneca Bid

American and British politicians are questioning the economic effects of Pfizer’s push to acquire AstraZeneca as the New York based drug maker’s track record indicates job cuts following acquisitions.

U.S. Senators, Ron Wyden and Carl Levin considering legislation which would make it more difficult for American companies to transfer their official addresses abroad to evade U.S. taxes. Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley said they were worried the deal will result in job losses in their states.

Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, Ian Read has committed to U.K. officials that his company would keep considerable manufacturing factories in the U.K. and at least 20% of the new firm’s research and development workers for at least 5 years.

U.S. Inquiries

In the U.S. Senate Democrats said they might push to prevent companies from shifting their legal addresses abroad to slash their tax bills because at least 18 other companies including Chiquita Brands International said they are considering or making similar deals since 2012.

Job Concerns

Since 2003, Pfizer has shed roughly 70,000 workers and has announced plans to shut at least 7 research laboratories.

London-based AstraZeneca employs 5,700 persons in Delaware and Maryland. AstraZeneca’s North America headquarters is in Wilmington, Delaware, a manufacturing plant in Newark, Delaware and a research center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Future Commitments

Markell and O’Malley asked Pfizer to inform them details on the way a lot of jobs might be relocated or cut from their states as a consequence of a deal, what future investment they could bring in the states and the Pfizer’s possible plans for dividing a merged company into different companies.

U.K. Concerns

A U.K. endowment, The Wellcome Trust which funds medical research said in a letter to the British government that it was concerned about Pfizer decreasing research in that country.