- AstraZeneca approached Gilead and asked it to consider a merger, according to Bloomberg.
- Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said the contact happened in May but AstraZeneca “didn’t specify terms for any transaction.”
- A source told the news outlet that Gilead is not currently interested in merging with another big pharmaceutical company.
- AstraZeneca has partnered with the Oxford Vaccine Group to help roll out an inoculation against the coronavirus if it is approved.
- Gilead developed the coronavirus treatment called remdesivir. The company has a long history of developing virus-fighting treatments.
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AstraZeneca, the UK’s largest pharmaceuticals firm, approached its heavyweight US competitor Gilead to discuss a merger, according to Bloomberg.
AstraZeneca contacted Gilead in May but “didn’t specify terms for any transaction,” Bloomberg said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Discussions with advisers are reportedly underway at Gilead, but the companies aren’t in formal talks, they said.
Gilead is not interested in merging with a rival, Bloomberg said, preferring to focus on smaller acquisitions.
As of Friday, AstraZeneca was worth $US141 billion and Gilead $US96 billion. If a merger went ahead it would be the largest ever in the industry, and would likely be opposed by UK competition regulators due to the size and power of their combined resources.
AstraZeneca is currently partnering with the Oxford Vaccine Group to help roll out an inoculation against the coronavirus, if a product is approved.
Business Insider contacted both firms for comment but is yet to receive a response.
AstraZeneca told Bloomberg the company doesn’t comment on “rumours or speculation.”