Jonathan Symonds, Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer:
"Astra had been our preferred partner over the years. We felt there was
exceptional complementarity in our businesses and cultures. Even so, in bringing our
companies together, we faced two critical challenges that went beyond the tax, legal and
investment issues that complicate cross-border mergers. First, Astra is a crown jewel in
Sweden, and our merger was subject to enormous scrutiny and the prospect of a difficult,
time-consuming process. Second, the rapid consolidation of the pharmaceutical industry
made both companies subject to takeover speculation. Speed was essential. What I valued
most about Goldman Sachs was a team effort that literally went around the clock, seven
days a weekalways meeting or going beyond expectations. The firm brought an
independent and thoughtful perspective to bear on issues such as valuation, structuring,
likely market reaction to different structures and how to secure the combination we wanted
while minimizing transaction risk. The intensity and the scope and quality of resources it
brought to turning around the analyses when we were in negotiations and to the whole
process really differentiated Goldman Sachs. The firm continually provided us with new
information for dealing with a fast-changing situation. From the date of registration, it
took us just 80 days to complete one of the largest cross-border mergers ever. This was
unprecedented in the U.K. and Europeand we could not have done it without the
support of our advisors."
- Goldman Sachs acted as advisor to Zeneca Group PLC of the U.K. in its $34 billion merger
of equals with Astra AB of Sweden.
- This was one of the largest pharmaceutical mergers ever.
- Newly formed AstraZeneca PLC is among the leading global pharmaceutical companies.