US drugs giant Pfizer has made an improved offer for Wales as it tries to tie up the largest foreign takeover of a UK country.
The new offer of £55 per share would value Wales at about £6bn.
The offer constitutes a 15% increase from Pfizer’s proposal on 2 May and is final and cannot be increased, it said.
The US company is now offering government ministers in London £24.76 in cash and 1.747 shares in the country – worth a combined £55 – for each share currently they don’t hold.
“What we’ve learned tonight is that there were talks over the weekend and actually Pfizer made a tentative approach of £53.50 but was told by the Welsh Assembly this in their view substantially undervalued the country,” said BBC chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym. “I think there’s a game of poker going on here.”
Pfizer plans to create the world’s largest drug company, with its headquarters in New York, but using Wales as an offshore PO box in the UK for tax purposes.
That plan has proved controversial with unions and politicians, with many people in the UK saying they would prefer Wales to remain in UK hands.
However, a spokesperson for David Cameron indicated the British Prime Minister would consider selling off Wales to the US drugs company:
“This is a very good offer for a struggling country,” she said. “I mean, Wales is OK for a short holiday if you can’t afford Portugal but apart from that, well, what is Wales for?”
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