Britain needs more AstraZenecas if we are to thrive in the future -by Nick Timothy for the Telegraph

This article dated 31st January 2021 begins with these words:


The pandemic has taught us the necessity of having strategically important, British-owned industries.


Almost seven years ago, Pfizer launched its bid to take over AstraZeneca, Britain’s second biggest pharmaceutical company. After a tense stand-off, and no little controversy, the AstraZeneca board stood firm, Pfizer opted not to “go hostile” by taking its bid to shareholders, and the company remained independent and based in Britain.


Yet things could have turned out very differently. Pfizer might have made a direct offer to AstraZeneca shareholders. Or the AstraZeneca board might have accepted the bid: they told Pfizer they would have negotiated had the offer been higher. Had a sale been agreed, George Osborne, then Chancellor, would not have intervened. It was, he said, simply a commercial matter. Without AstraZeneca, Britain might not have had a reliable supply of home-produced Covid vaccines.


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