File - Runners jog past an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, central England April 28, 2014. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)
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U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc increased its offer for AstraZeneca Plc to 63 billion pounds ($106 billion) Friday, but the British company promptly rejected the proposal, which would create the world's biggest pharmaceuticals company.Industry analysts and investors said that raised the possibility that Pfizer would now take the takeover plan, which would boost its pipeline of cancer drugs and create significant tax and cost savings, direct to AstraZeneca shareholders.One AstraZeneca investor said Pfizer management had made clear in meetings this week that it wanted a friendly deal but it was determined to the see the transaction completed and a hostile bid was a potential "tool".Friday's 50 pounds ($84.47) a share indicative offer followed AstraZeneca's decision to rebuff an earlier proposal that valued it at 58.8 billion pounds, or 46.61 pounds per share.Some investors and analysts had expected that the sweetened offer would be enough to bring AstraZeneca's board to the negotiating table, even if it was not accepted, and the swift rejection suggests Pfizer may now go over the board's head.Pfizer's latest proposal would have seen shareholders receiving, for each AstraZeneca share, 1.845 shares in the combined company and 15.98 pounds in cash.Pfizer shares fell 0.5 percent in early New York trading.
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