AstraZeneca is apparently not British

Amid ongoing political storm over Pfizer's potential takeover of British pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca, some analysts have pointed out that AstraZeneca is apparently not British.

AstraZeneca is a key science anchor for Britain and has close ties with the country's top universities. But, it generates only a small portion of medicines at its British laboratories. Moreover, it has a French chief executive officer, while its chairman is from Sweden.

The United States accounts for more than 40 per cent of its total sales, while 87 per cent of its staff is in overseas countries. The company has a workforce of 51,500 people worldwide, of which just 6,700 people are in Britain.

Patrick Flochel, head of global pharmaceutical sector at EY, said it was really difficult to pinpoint the nationality of AstraZeneca.

Speaking on the topic, Flochel said, "Is it where it was originally born or the language they speak or where it is headquartered or where it pays most of its taxes or where most of the employees come from? In many ways, pharma companies are more American than anything else because that's the biggest market."

Even the drugmaker's roots are only half British as it was formed from an Anglo-Swedish merger around fifteen years ago.

British lawmakers are concerned that a potential takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer would hurt the economy via job cuts and outsourcing of various projects. Pfizer has announced a $106 billion takeover bid for the British firm.