AstraZeneca Returns to the M&A Trail: The London Rush


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(Bloomberg) — AstraZeneca Plc set the mood for the JPMorgan Chase & Co. health-care conference taking place in San Francisco this week in what is shaping up to be the biggest in-person gathering of the industry in three years. The UK drugmaker agreed to buy CinCor Pharma Inc. of the US for up to $1.8 billion. And keep an eye on Westminster today, where the prime minister will be meeting with union bosses, in an attempt to avert further strikes.

Here’s the key business news from London this morning:

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In the City

AstraZeneca Plc: The pharmaceutical giant agreed to buy US clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company  CinCor Pharma Inc, valuing the company at as much as a 206% premium to its market price last week.

  • Astra will buy Cincor for $26 per share, and if the company achieves regulatory submission for blood pressure drug baxdrostat, shareholders with get another $10 per share

Vodafone Group Plc: The telecommunications company entered into a binding agreement to sell its Hungary unit to 4iG and Corvinus, turning it into a state-owned company.

  • A possible sale was first announced in August
  • Vodafone will receive a total cash consideration of about €1.7 billion from the sale, the proceeds of which will be used for deleveraging

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Frontier Developments Plc: The video game developer no longer expects to hit the market’s revenue and operating profit expectations after weaker sales over the holiday period, especially from F1 Manager 2022.

  • Jonny Watts, the company’s CEO, said it was “very disappointing” to have to reset financial expectations, saying he plans to increase the frequency of releases, as well as looking after its existing portfolio.

In Westminster

Rishi Sunak is set for talks with union leaders today in a bid to avert further strikes by NHS, rail and other workers. It comes after the boss of one of the biggest transport unions last week called for coordinated strikes involving tens of thousands of public sector workers.

That’s as UK manufacturing firms say they’re likely to cut jobs and production due to a surge in energy costs, even though the government has extended support.

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Meanwhile, the government plans to reform its flagship electricity security program to make possible its goal of a carbon-free power grid by 2035.

In Case You Missed It 

The small group of nations to have sent rockets into the sky from their own soil is about to gain a new member as Britain makes its first ever launch from a seaside town better known for surfing and sandy beaches than space adventures.

Back on earth, a cliff edge awaits the nation’s buy-to-let investors as the UK housing market braces for a pivotal year. 

Finally, Britain is half way through a cost-of-living crisis that will leave families £2,100 worse off, the Resolution Foundation said.

Looking Ahead 

This week will see the long fourth-quarter earnings season get underway. Here’s what to expect: Clouds Lift for UK Retailers, for Now

For a news fix when the day is done, sign up to The Readout with Allegra Stratton, to make sense of the day’s events.


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