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Pfizer calls off $160-billion merger with Allergan

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The decision to call off the merger came after the US Treasury Department announced new rules to discourage mergers between US and foreign businesses designed to sharply lower the US company’s tax bill

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has abandoned plans for a $160-billion merger with Allergan, citing new US rules cracking down on tie ups aimed at saving on taxes. The deal with the Irish-based firm would have created the world’s largest pharmaceutical company.

Pfizer said in a statement the two companies ‘terminated by mutual agreement’ plans to merge.

“Pfizer approached this transaction from a position of strength and viewed the potential combination as an accelerator of existing strategies,” said Ian Read, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer.

Pfizer also agreed to pay Allergan $150 million to reimburse its expenses linked to the planned merger.

The decision to call off the merger came after the US Treasury Department announced new rules to discourage mergers between US and foreign businesses designed to sharply lower the US company’s tax bill.

The New York-based pharma giant said it remains on track to report its 2016 first quarter earnings on May 3.

Brent Saunders, CEO, Allergan, said in a separate statement that while he is “disappointed” that the merger will not proceed, his company is nevertheless “poised to deliver strong, sustainable growth built on a set of powerful attributes.

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