“One of the great dramas in British corporate history.”
In April 2014, U.S. pharmaceutical Pfizer made an unsolicited offer for competitor AstraZeneca. It could have been the UK’s biggest ever foreign takeover.
AstraZeneca believed its value to shareholders, the UK economy and life sciences was in its independence. They instructed RLM Finsbury, versed in international acquisitions, to mount their defence in the UK and US. Insiders gave AstraZeneca a 10% chance.
RLM Finsbury’s strategy focused on AstraZeneca’s place in British science; its burgeoning product pipeline; its commitment to the UK. Highlighting a possible motive of considerable tax savings for Pfizer also swayed politicians, investors, scientists and media people at the highest levels into announcing support.
As Pfizer upped its offers and PR blitz, RLM Finsbury worked full-time shaping responses with AstraZeneca directors, executives and advisors.
At the same time, RLM Finsbury gave counsel and spread intelligence to national and local governments across party-political lines.
The successful defence drew massive coverage in the U.S. and UK. “One of the great dramas of British corporate history” wrote the FT. Commentary frequently noted RLM Finsbury’s role in causing Pfizer to “… snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”.
It is one of RLM Finsbury’s proudest accomplishments.