Pfizer has confirmed it has contacted AstraZeneca over a possible multi-billion dollar takeover.
The pharmaceutical said it made an initial approach in January, but after “limited high-level discussions” AstraZeneca discontinued the talks on January 14.
However, it said recent market developments had prompted it to approach AstraZeneca for a second time.
“AstraZeneca again declined to engage. Pfizer is currently considering its options,” Pfizer said in a statement.
Pfizer said its initial offer in January was a combination of cash and shares worth $75 per AstraZeneca share, worth $94 billion in total.
At the time, it represented a 30% premium to AstraZeneca’s share price, although AstraZeneca’s share price has since increased and on Monday morning it jumped nearly 15% .
Pfizer said the deal was “a highly compelling opportunity” for AstraZeneca’s shareholders.
It said if the takeover went through, the combined firm would have management in both the US and the UK, but would list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
“We have great respect for AstraZeneca and its proud heritage,” said Pfizer chairman and chief executive Ian Read.
Pfizer said it would only make a firm offer if AstraZeneca directors voted unanimously in favor of the deal.
“The strategic, business and financial rationale for a transaction is compelling,” it added.
Buying AstraZeneca would give Pfizer, which makes Viagra among other drugs, access to a number of cancer and diabetes drugs.