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Astrazeneca takes £13bn loan to fund Alexion deal

Astrazeneca to take out £13bn bridging loan to finance blockbuster takeover of US giant Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Astrazeneca will take out a £13billion bridging loan to finance its blockbuster takeover of US giant Alexion Pharmaceuticals. 

The FTSE100 company , which developed a coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University, has signed a £29billion cash-and-shares deal to buy the Boston-based rare diseases specialist. 

Blockbuster: The transaction follows speculation that chief executive Pascal Soriot (pictured) was looking for a large target to take advantage of Astrazeneca’s soaring share price

The transaction, announced on Saturday, follows speculation that chief executive Pascal Soriot was looking for a large target to take advantage of its soaring share price, which has jumped from 3,800p to close to 8,200 in four years. 

Astra has decided to take out the $17.5bn (£13billion) loan to finance the deal and roll over Alexion’s debt. 

Astra will refinance with medium-term bank loans, bonds and cash from trading. 

Alexion’s investors will receive £45 cash and 2.1 Astra shares for each Alexion share – or £132 per share, a 45 per cent premium – handing them 15 per cent of the combined company. 

The new business will gain £378m of annual efficiencies through the sharing of resources and expertise, following £491m of investment in the three years after acquisition.

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