Labour threatens to block AstraZeneca takeover bid if it wins 2015 election
Umunna said that if Labour came to power in May 2015 he would subject a deal to a public interest test and block the transaction if the result was negative.
Analysts and lawyers said the timeframe of a takeover supported Labour’s threat, as a deal could take more than a year to clear regulatory hurdles in Europe, the US and China, where Pfizer is the largest drugmaker and AstraZeneca the second-largest.
Umunna said Labour would amend the criteria for a public interest test on sensitive takeovers to include the impact on Britain’s science and research and development base.
The deal would be blocked if a panel composed of scientists and business people warned that it would have an adverse effect, said Umunna. “If they advise that it could be adverse then I as secretary of state, if I was in a position to do so, and the legal advice of the department is such that we could do so, and the transaction had not taken place, I would intervene to block it on those grounds.”
- The Guardian,