Pfizer chairman and CEO Ian Read said Monday that his company’s blockbuster $155 billion merger with Allergan "will allow these companies to invest more in the United States," countering claims that the combination is simply a tax-inversion deal.
The acquisition will result in the largest drugmaker in the world by sales, according to reports, allowing it to come together as Allergan, then rebrand as Pfizer and take up legal and tax residency in Ireland, giving it lower tax bills.
Following reports that a merger announcement was imminent, Pfizer tweeted a link to the video of Read talking about the benefits of the partnership.
Video: Pfizer CEO Ian Read on proposed combination of Pfizer/Allergan: https://t.co/3fqssBxtzu— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) November 23, 2015
Pfizer media relations director MacKay Jimeson confirmed the video was developed and launched without assistance from an outside firm, but did not comment further.
"It’s about bringing two great companies together that have good research, that have complimentary pipelines – both, in many ways, in terms of therapeutic areas and in terms of timing," Read said.
In the video, Read praised Allergan’s prowess in the dermatological space, and talked about the potential for the two companies to grow together.
The company also posted a press release on the website PremierBioPharmaLeader.com on Monday, as well as an infographic.
Allergan CEO Brent Saunders was also busy on Twitter, linking to news stories and retweeting CNBC reporter Meg Tirrell’s teaser of his and Read’s appearance on the network.
Creating the new leader in BioPharma! pic.twitter.com/1AXTM68Bj1— Brent Saunders (@brentlsaunders) November 23, 2015
Many media reports pointed out that the merger can be classified as an inversion deal, in which a US-based company moves its corporate base overseas to save millions in taxes each year. President Barack Obama has criticized the practice, though he had not commented about this specific deal as of early Monday afternoon.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that, if elected, she would put forward proposals to prevent such mergers.
An Allergan spokesperson was not immediately available for comment