AstraZeneca shares sink 8% after $39 billion Alexion buyout

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(Reuters) – Shares of AstraZeneca fell 8% early on Monday, hit by doubts about the British firm’s strategy and speculation of a rival bid after it announced the $39 billion purchase of Alexion Pharmaceuticals over the weekend.

Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot had told reporters on Saturday that the deal, a bet on rare-disease and immunology drugs, was the result of exclusive talks and no competitive bidder was involved.

The move also helps AstraZeneca, which is also working on a COVID-19 vaccine, diversify from its fast-growing cancer business.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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