Monday, 5 May 2014

AstraZeneca: Some more splendid Indian Bicycle Marketing

From the BBC, 2 May 2014:

Conservative peer Lord Heseltine has said the government should have greater powers to intervene when British companies are the target of takeover bids by foreign businesses.

The former deputy prime minister told the BBC takeovers "could be very helpful", but the UK should do more to protect its national interests. This week, American drugs giant Pfizer announced it was bidding for British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca...

From the BBC, 4 May 2014:

Ed Miliband has called for an inquiry into whether the US drugs firm Pfizer's planned takeover of AstraZeneca is in the UK's national interest.

The Labour leader has written to the PM to urge a stronger public interest test for takeovers of important businesses.

No 10 has denied Labour claims it is acting as a "cheerleader" for the deal, saying it is fighting for British jobs and British science.

From the BBC, 4 May 2014:

The Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps has said tests are in place to make sure that any takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer is in the public interest.

His comments come after Ed Miliband wrote to the prime minister calling for an inquiry and for a stronger public interest test for takeovers of important businesses.

Mr Shapps told the Sunday Politics that Labour's approach was "anti-business".

Is there actually a scintilla of difference between what Heseltine says and what Miliband says; or between the Conservatives' proposed "public interest test" and Labour's proposed "public interest test"?

Probably not, but nonetheless, Shappsy dutifully slags of Ed Miliband as being anti-business. Ed is quite happy about this, because it sends a message to potential Labour voters.

Presumably, it has been agreed that Heseltine might be a bit of an old fuddy-duddy but a true patriot at heart.

It has probably also been agreed that Labour will go on to accuse the Tories of kow-towing to large business interests at the expense of skilled employees in this country, or something.


The Stigler said...

Good spot. And it's one of those issues they love for a spot of IBM because no action is forthcoming. It's just about keeping the faithful on side.

Bayard said...

This sort of thing always reminds me of that expose of profressional wrestling, "You Grunt, I'll Groan".