【英语财经】辉瑞CEO将就收购阿斯利康接受质询 Pfizer chief to be pressed over UK jobs

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2014-5-13 06:55

小艾摘要: Pfizer will face demands for firmer guarantees on British jobs and investment when its boss is grilled by UK lawmakers today over its proposed £63bn takeover of AstraZeneca.Ian Read, chairman and chi ...
Pfizer chief to be pressed over UK jobs
Pfizer will face demands for firmer guarantees on British jobs and investment when its boss is grilled by UK lawmakers today over its proposed £63bn takeover of AstraZeneca.

Ian Read, chairman and chief executive of the US pharmaceuticals company, will tell MPs that the deal would create “a UK-based scientific powerhouse” and promise to “keep our word” on jobs.

However, the two sides appeared to be in stalemate yesterday. Pfizer said its existing commitments, including a pledge to keep 20 per cent of the two companies’ combined research jobs in Britain, were already legally binding even as UK politicians made clear they were not strong enough.

Adrian Bailey, the MP who chairs the business committee that will quiz Mr Read in the first of two days of hearings, said nothing less than “cast- iron” guarantees would do. Pfizer has committed to a deal on jobs but with a get-out clause if “circumstances significantly change”.

“We have been bitten once before on Kraft/Cadbury,” said Mr Bailey, referring to US-based consumer goods company Kraft, which abandoned job pledges it made before it bought the UK’s Cadbury in 2010. “Are the caveats they have given as legally binding as the commitments? If they are, they nullify each other.”

Kraft came under heavy criticism when it pledged to keep open Cadbury’s factory near Bristol during its takeover battle only to renege on the commitment after the deal went through at a cost of 400 jobs.

Andrew Miller, chair of the science committee, said Mr Read would have to offer a 10-year deal on investment and jobs and remove any qualifications to win his support.

David Cameron, UK prime minister, has asked officials to try to make Pfizer’s assurances binding or to seek new guarantees, while government lawyers are poring over the US company’s statements to see if they can be made legally watertight.

In a statement yesterday, Pfizer said: “With our commitment to foster research and development in the UK, we are matching words with deeds.”

However, there were no new promises beyond those made in a letter to Mr Cameron this month.

Pfizer said these commitments were “tangible, legally binding and represent significant investment”.

It also promised to complete the development of AstraZeneca’s research centre in Cambridge, to maintain a substantial manufacturing presence in Macclesfield, and to locate key scientific and management functions in the UK.

美国制药公司辉瑞(Pfizer)董事长兼首席执行官伊恩?里德(Ian Read)今日将就该公司提议以630亿英镑收购阿斯利康(AstraZeneca)事宜接受英国议员质询,届时后者将会要求该公司就英国就业和投资做出更有力的保证。

里德将会告诉议员们,该交易将会打造“一家总部位于英国的科技大户”,并承诺“遵守就业方面的诺言”。

然而,昨日双方似乎僵持不下。辉瑞表示,其现有承诺——包括将合并后两家公司20%的研发职位留在英国——已经具有法律约束力,而英国政客们明确表示,这些承诺还不够有力。

英国议会商业委员会将在为期两天的听证会首日质询里德。该委员会主席阿德里安?贝利(Adrian Bailey)表示,只有“牢不可破”的担保才会有效。辉瑞虽然做出了就业方面的保证,但它还附有如果“环境发生显著变化”可以例外的条款。

贝利表示:“我们之前在卡夫食品(Kraft Foods)/吉百利(Cadbury)并购案中上过当,”他指的是美国消费品公司卡夫在2010年收购英国吉百利后背弃了之前做出的承诺,“他们的附加条款和这些承诺一样具有法律约束力吗?如果有约束力,那它们就会彼此抵消效力”。

卡夫在收购战期间承诺保留吉百利在布里斯托尔附近的工厂,结果在交易完成后却食言而肥,而这项交易导致400人被裁员,这让该公司饱受诟病。

英国议会科学委员会主席安德鲁?米勒(Andrew Miller)表示,里德只有在投资和就业方面做出为期十年的保证,并取消任何限制性条件,才会赢得他的支持。

英国首相戴维?卡梅伦(David Cameron)要求官员们努力让辉瑞的担保具有法律约束力或者寻求新的担保,同时政府律师们正在研究这家美国公司的声明,看看它们是否在法律上无懈可击。

辉瑞在昨日发表的一份声明中表示:“我们承诺将促进英国的研发,我们言而有信。”

然而,除了本月在给卡梅伦的信中做出的承诺以外,辉瑞没有任何新的承诺。

辉瑞表示,这些承诺是“实实在在的、具有法律约束力,并代表着重大投资”。

该公司还承诺完成阿斯利康在剑桥研发中心的开发工作,在麦克尔斯菲尔德(Macclesfield)保留大量的制造业务,以及将关键的科研和管理职能设在英国。

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