British lawmakers anxiously watching Pfizer-AstraZeneca talks

British lawmakers are concerned about the future of AstraZeneca and thousands of its employees, as U. S.-based pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer is preparing a £60 billion (nearly $100bn) takeover bid for the British firm.

AstraZeneca is the second-largest drugs maker of Britain, behind GlaxoSmithKline. It provides work to more than 7,000 people and is playing a crucial role the life sciences and health research.

The potential takeover of AstraZeneca by the U. S. drugs giant will likely shift operations out of Britain and make thousand of its workers redundant.

Ann McKechin, a member of the parliamentary business, innovation & skills committee, admitted that the impact of the deal would not only on shareholders but also thousands of employees as well as the country as a whole.

Andrew Bailey, chairman of the committee, said, "In AstraZeneca we have a company that amounts to 2.3 percent of our total exports, is a world leader in research in pharmaceuticals and is very strategically positioned in this country."

Bailey also argued that Finance Minister George Osborne's comment that a potential deal between the two firms would just be a commercial matter and the government has no role in it was too laid back.

Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read has already declared that there would be no guarantees that manufacturing jobs at AstraZeneca would remain in Britain after a potential takeover. In 2011, Pfizer had closed its main research plant in Kent, throwing more than 2,400 people out of work.

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