Heseltine – Britain should still move to protect key R&D companies from takeover, despite the collapse of Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca.
Lord Heseltine has called for plan to protect British companies from foreign takeovers to be pushed forward by the government, despite the collapse of Pfizer’s £63bn bid for AstraZeneca.
The Conservative peer, who advises the Prime Minister on economic policies, has said the present rules should be “amended” to allow Britain to “pursue its national interest” in the event of future bids.
“Other countries have mechanisms to pursue their national interest and I think we should have the same,” he told The Telegraph newspaper.
The current laws present politicians from intervening in takeovers unless they are to believe it would cause concerns over national defence, media plurality and financial stability.
Lord Heseltine believes that the laws should change to take into account research and scientific endeavour.
The Lord who also spoke out against the planned merger of Pfizer and Astrazeneca before it expired, is said to not be against takeovers as they can be healthy and beneficial however in some cases he stated “we need to ask the basic question of what’s in Britain’s interest?”
Lord Heseltine was speaking as he prepares to help launch the International Festival of Business in Liverpool today. The event, thought to be the biggest trade fare in the UK since the Festival of Britain in 1951, is designed to help British companies expand their export bases.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, will open the Festival. In a speech he will say Britain is a “nation of geniuses” which can be turned into the “most creative country on Earth”.