Wellcome Trust complains to chancellor over possible AstraZeneca deal

first_imgIn its letter, Wellcome said it had major concerns because of the importance of the pharmaceutical industry to wider biomedical research.Wellcome’s mission is to improve human and animal health, principally through funding biomedical research and its translation into healthcare.More than three-quarters of its £750m annual spending currently supports research in the UK.The letter, from Wellcome’s chairman Sir William Castell and director Jeremy Farrar, said: “Pfizer’s past acquisitions of major pharmaceutical companies have led to a substantial reduction in R&D activity, which we are concerned could be replicated in this instance.“If AstraZeneca does merge with Pfizer, we think it essential the R&D and manufacturing capability it offers to the UK is maintained and, critically, that its investment in its major R&D facility in Cambridge is not lost.”Wellcome said it was encouraged by Pfizer’s open letter to the UK prime minister, which included a commitment to complete and operate AstraZeneca’s Cambridge R&D facility, to employ a minimum of 20% of the combined company’s R&D workforce in the UK, and to maintain manufacturing capacity in the UK.But the letter continued: “We believe, however, that it is critical the government holds Pfizer to these commitments should its offer succeed, as the company has not always honoured similar undertakings made following past acquisitions. We would be pleased to hear how you propose to do so.”Wellcome declined to comment on any presumed shareholding in AstraZeneca. The Wellcome Trust – the UK’s largest charitable foundation, with a £16.5bn (€20.2bn) endowment – has written to chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne to raise “major concerns” about the proposed takeover of Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca by US multinational Pfizer.The possible takeover, which has so far been rejected by AstraZeneca, has provoked a wave of criticism in the UK and Sweden because of its potential effect on jobs.Andres Borg, Sweden’s finance minister, has claimed Pfizer broke promises made to maintain research investment in Sweden when it bought local drug maker Pharmacia in 2002.AstraZeneca is one of only two large pharmaceutical companies to pursue substantial research and development (R&D) activity within the UK.last_img read more

Unilever abandons restructure under pressure from shareholders

first_imgIn the days before the announcement, several major shareholders had voiced objections to the planned restructure.Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), a major provider of passive index tracking funds, said it would vote against the resolution. Sacha Sadan, director of corporate governance at LGIM, said Unilever was understood to have looked at several alternatives before reaching its final decision, but LGIM did not believe it had made a compelling case for shareholders to support Dutch incorporation.As part of its engagement with Unilever, LGIM worked with the UK shareholder group Investor Forum to engage collectively with other investors, including some of the UK’s biggest pension funds. In a statement, Investor Forum executive director Andy Griffiths said: “Our purpose is to escalate investor concerns through collective engagement and we would like to thank the board of Unilever for its constructive response in recent weeks.“We have worked with over 20 institutions on this assignment and believe that it represents a powerful illustration of the effectiveness of collective engagement.”Mike Fox, head of sustainable investments at Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), which holds approximately £360m (€406m) worth of Unilever shares, also praised the board for having “listened to shareholder concerns and responded in a constructive way”.Prior to this morning’s announcement, Fox warned: “Many UK Unilever shareholders voting for the upcoming resolution are effectively voting for forced divestment of their holding… We think that Unilever is a high quality company, both in its own right and as a key constituent of a number of UK indices.”While the consumer goods company might be able to convince European shareholders that the move made sense in the long term, Fox said, it was hard for a UK investor to see an incentive to vote in favour.PIRC, a leading proxy voting adviser, had also recommended that investors oppose the move.Unilever’s UK share price this year, versus the FTSE 100 index#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# Source: CapitalIQ In developing the initial proposal, it said the board had been “guided by the opportunity to unlock value for our shareholders by creating a stronger, simpler and more competitive Unilever that is better positioned for long-term success”.It had received widespread support from shareholders for the principle behind simplification, it said, but the proposal’s implications had not received enough support. Unilever chairman Marijn Dekkers said the board would consider its next steps and continue to engage with its shareholders.UK objectionscenter_img Unilever, the British-Dutch consumer goods giant, has scrapped a plan to “simplify” its corporate structure after pressure from investors who would have been forced sellers of UK-listed shares.The announcement came early this morning in the wake of objections over the last few days from UK institutional investors owning millions of pounds of Unilever stock, who said they would vote the proposal down.The company – the third biggest in the FTSE 100 index by market cap – had proposed to incorporate in the Netherlands under a new holding company, which would have involved delisting from the London Stock Exchange and listing the new entity in its place. The matter was due to be put to the vote at extraordinary general meetings (EGM) on 25 and 26 October in Rotterdam and London.Unilever said in a stock exchange announcement at 7am today that the board had decided to withdraw its proposal.last_img read more


first_imgRafael Bejarano40108425%55%$402,548 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won FINISH LINES: Taris, impressive winner of the Grade I Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 7, worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Friday in 49.40 for the Grade I Vanity Mile June 4 and a potential meeting with champions Beholder and Stellar Wind. “It was her first breeze back since she raced and it was perfect,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. The millionaire daughter of Flatter doesn’t have to carry her track around with her. She has won eight of 13 career starts, seven of them at different tracks: Aqueduct, Laurel, Presque Isle Downs, Keeneland, Del Mar, Churchill Downs and Santa Anita . . . Flavien Prat, tied for fourth in Santa Anita’s standings through nine days, rides at Pimlico today . . . Agent Tony Matos has Martin Garcia booked on Cyrus Alexander for Jerry Hollendorfer in the Lone Star Handicap on Memorial Day, May 30. Garcia ranks second nationally percentage-wise in stakes wins this year at 27 (11 stakes wins from 42 mounts), behind Jose Ortiz‘s 30 percent . . . John Sadler plans to enter both Royal Heroine runner-up Elektrum and Royal Heroine winner Nancy From Nairobi in the Grade I Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at 1 1/8 miles on turf Memorial Day, May 30. Fanticola, third in the Royal Heroine after setting the pace as is her wont, also goes in the Gamely for Phil D’Amato under regular rider Joe Talamo . . . The California Horse Racing Board will conduct its regular monthly meeting Thursday, May 26, 9:30 a.m. at Santa Anita. The public is encouraged to attend. An audio-only web cast of the meeting can be heard through a link on the CHRB website (web cast). The meeting agenda and supporting package of materials also are available on the CHRB website . . . The Outlaw Jose Barnes: The 20-year-old apprentice rider from South Africa, Jose Barnes, pronounces his first name “JOE-zee,” not “HO-say.” . . . On Sunday, Santa Anita presents the Cal Rods Car Show, a free Infield event featuring some of the finest classics in the San Gabriel Valley for the 10th straight year. First post time is 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. WRITER, HANDICAPPER WEINBAUM DEAD AT 64(From Daily Racing Form)Larry Weinbaum, a retired sportswriter and handicapper for several Southern California newspapers, died on Wednesday after a lengthy illness related to complications from a stroke, according to a close friend, public handicapper Bob Ike.Weinbaum was 64.A native of New York, Weinbaum lived in Southern California for much of his adult life. He earned a master’s degree in journalism at San Diego State and later worked for newspapers in Vista and Escondido in San Diego County, Ike said.Weinbaum wrote about the San Diego Padres of Major League baseball and the San Diego Clippers of the NBA before the team moved to Los Angeles in the 1980s.An avid racing fan, Weinbaum became a public handicapper for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register and Riverside Press Enterprise.No services were planned as of Thursday. Weinbaum is survived by a sister, Linda. Edward Freeman631150%83%$84,865 Brayan Pena2021410%35%$47,725 SECOND SUMMER TRIES CALIFORNIAN DIRT            Second Summer has found his best form on the main track.After running in five straight turf races and showing only a maiden victory, trainer Peter Eurton transferred the gelded son of 2009 Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird to the main track where he was second first out and has won his last two.Sunday, he makes his second stakes start, this in the Grade II Californian Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles.“He’s found the dirt quite to his liking, compared to the turf,” Eurton said. “He wasn’t making any kind of run in his last few on grass. I started to feel like he preferred some (turf courses) on the circuit but not others. He worked so well on dirt, we decided to try it.”The Californian, race nine of 10: Crittenden, Flavien Prat; Lieutenant Colonel, Rafael Bejarano; Second Summer, Mario Gutierrez; Point Piper, Martin Garcia; El Huerfano, Victor Espinoza; Follow Me Crev, Alonso Quinonez; and Hard Aces, Abel Lezcano. Patrick Gallagher730043%43%$70,635 Peter Eurton920122%33%$45,900 (Current Through Thursday, May 19) Flavien Prat2972424%45%$319,040 Jack Carava722029%57%$49,190 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Tiago Pereira373798%51%$147,263 Fernando Perez2132214%33%$127,365 SNOW CHIEF GAINED REDEMPTION IN 1986 PREAKNESS            It’s been three decades since Alex Solis won his only Triple Crown race in a Hall of Fame career that began in 1982.It was in 1986 when the native of Panama rode Snow Chief to victory in the Preakness, after the California-bred had finished 11th as the favorite behind Ferdinand and Bill Shoemaker in the Run for the Roses.Solis remembers the Preakness triumph like it was yesterday.“It was a great race,” said Solis, now 52, and a senior member of the Southern California riding colony along with Hall of Fame mates Gary Stevens, 53, Mike Smith, who turns 51 Aug. 10, and Kent Desormeaux, 46.“I was happy Snow Chief redeemed himself in the Preakness,” Solis said. “His Derby was disappointing, but he proved himself before the Preakness with his win in the Santa Anita Derby and after the Preakness by winning the Jersey Derby.”Snow Chief, trained by Mel Stute, would go on to earn an Eclipse Award as best Three-Year-Old of 1986. He retired as the then all-time Cal-bred money earner with $3,383,210.As for tomorrow’s 141st Preakness at Pimlico, Solis is hopeful Nyquist can continue his unbeaten streak in the second jewel of the Triple Crown at a mile and three-sixteenths.“I think it would be good for racing and I’d be happy for the California connections,” Solis said. “Doug O’Neill and his team have been there before (winning the Derby and Preakness with I’ll Have Another in 2012) and they know what they’re doing.”The Preakness lineup: Cherry Wine, Corey Lanerie, 20-1; Uncle Lino, Fernando Perez, 20-1; Nyquist, Mario Gutierrez, 3-5; Awesome Speed, Jevian Toledo, 30-1; Exaggerator, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Lani, Yutaka Take, 30-1; Collected, Javier Castellano, 10-1; Laoban, Florent Geroux, 30-1; Abiding Star, J.D. Acosta, 30-1; Fellowship, Jose Lezcano, 30-1; and Stradivari, John Velazquez, 8-1.First live post time at Santa Anita Preakness Day is 12 noon. Admission gates open at 8 a.m. The Paddock Room opens at 7:15 a.m.Post time for the $1.5 million Preakness is 3:45 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. It will air live on NBC-TV and the Horse Racing Radio Network. Martin Garcia2254223%50%$297,670 Michael McCarthy521040%60%$80,845 Mark Glatt1732318%47%$94,101 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Drayden Van Dyke2022010%20%$101,545 David Hofmans520040%40%$79,635 Jerry Hollendorfer2243318%45%$278,075 Joseph Talamo3385724%61%$392,948 Philip D’Amato2485333%67%$415,615 John Sadler2350322%35%$284,105 Matthew Chew421050%75%$41,945 HOLLENDORFER SENDS OUT TRIO IN KONA GOLDVeteran sprint campaigner Sahara Sky, winner of the Grade I Metropolitan Handicap at one mile in 2013, is one of three horses entered by Jerry Hollendorfer in Saturday’s Grade II Kona Gold Stakes for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.The other two are Dream Saturday and Wild Dude.Sahara Sky, an eight-year-old full horse owned by Hollendorfer and Kim Lloyd, who races as Sweetwater Stable, was fifth in an overnight sprint at Golden Gate April 23, his first race since finishing fifth in the Grade II San Diego Handicap at 1 1/16 miles July 25, 2015, a span of nine months.“He had a prep race up north and just came down a couple days ago. He looks great,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward of Sahara Sky, a Florida-bred son of Pleasant Tap.Added Hollendorfer on Dream Saturday: “We’ve had him a few months and he’s been training real well.”Sahara Sky, who would benefit from a fast pace, was third in the Kona Gold last year. He has an 8-4-5 record from 25 starts, with earnings of $1,180,238.The Kona Gold, race nine of 11: Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2; Souper Knight, Abel Lezcano, 20-1; Cautious Giant, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; Coastline, Tyler Baze, 7-2; Dream Saturday, Mike Smith, 12-1; Subtle Indian, Ramon Vazquez, 5-2; Sahara Sky, Martin Garcia, 8-1; and San Onofre, Edwin Maldonado, 3-1.Cherubim and Kafister were scratched. Richard Baltas1733118%41%$126,198 Edwin Maldonado40117528%58%$346,371 John Brocklebank522040%80%$85,560 Hector O. Palma632050%83%$54,945 THREE DECADES LATER, SOLIS RECALLS PREAKNESSKONA GOLD: ‘SKY’S NOT THE LIMIT’ FOR HOLLENDORFER SECOND SUMMER’S FORM IMPROVES ON MAIN TRACKMANDELLA HAS TWO FOR THE MONEY IN MIZDIRECTION Richard Mandella1222317%58%$145,075 Steven Miyadi722029%57%$59,435 Mike Puype2041220%35%$141,430 MANDELLA DUO IN RIGHT DIRECTION FOR MIZDIRECTIONRichard Mandella has two entered in Saturday’s $75,000 Mizdirection Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. He expects solid efforts from both Avenge and Off the Road.Avenge, a four-year-old daughter of War Front, is three for four over the hillside course, winning the restricted Ultra Fleet last May. The Mizdirection will mark her first race since last June 27, when she was sixth after prompting the pace in the Grade III Senorita Stakes at one mile on grass.Off the Road, a five-year-old Brazilian-bred mare, was second in the Grade III Las Cienagas which was taken off the turf and run on the main track due to weather conditions.The Mizdirection lineup: Off the Road, Stewart Elliott, 12-1; So Sweetitiz, Mike Smith, 8-1; Velvet Mesquite, Tyler Baze, 5-1; My Year Is a Day, Brice Blanc, 12-1; Minks Aprise, Alex Solis, 15-1; Miss Double d’Oro, Santiago Gonzalez, 4-1; Home Journey, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Avenge, Flavien Prat, 5-1; and Swift Lady, Rafael Bejarano, 7-2.Revenue Virginius was scratched. Tyler Baze48781215%56%$372,060 Ignacio Puglisi921122%44%$42,313 Santiago Gonzalez4367614%44%$288,493 Martin Pedroza2733411%37%$117,930last_img read more


first_imgHUNCH PLAY PREVAILS ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY Doug O’Neill14618282112%46%$1,623,866 Corey Nakatani73138718%38%$790,767 Vladimir Cerin51912918%59%$491,664 Martin Pedroza11115202114%50%$637,027 Peter Miller9828221029%61%$1,378,586 Tiago Pereira10712111711%37%$415,991 William Spawr31114435%61%$342,440 MANDELLA MAY HAVE A HIT FROM OKLAHOMA Jerry Hollendorfer12126182221%55%$1,693,129 STEVENS, ASHLEY REUNITED FOR SAN LUIS REY            Ashleyluvssugar is set for next Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes for older horses at a mile and a half on turf, and he’ll be reunited with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who missed riding the six-year-old in the California Cup Turf Classic Jan. 28 while still recovering from hip replacement surgery.Stevens had ridden Ashleyluvssugar five straight times and nine times in his last 10 starts before Flavien Prat took over to win the Cal Cup Turf Classic. Prat rides in Dubai next Saturday.Ashleyluvssugar, a California-bred son of Game Plan out of the 16-year-old dam Ashley’s Folly, who resides at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Friday in 1:01 under exercise rider Jose Aragon.“I got him a little bit quicker than that, but I like the way he did it,” said Peter Eurton, who trains Ashley for owners/breeders Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC.Ashleyluvssugar has been a mainstay with Team Eurton since day one. Not only did the bay gelding win the San Luis Rey under Stevens in 2015, overall he has a 9-3-3 record from 20 starts with earnings of $1,145,004.Understandably, it’s become more than a business relationship between trainer and horse.“There’s always an emotional attachment for a horse you’ve had since he was a baby,” Eurton allowed. “We raised him and we’ve had his brothers and sisters. I’m going to have three other siblings (Ashley’s Sassy, Ashley’s Bambino and Ashley’s Cutie) at the race track at the same time.“I would love to take a photo of those four galloping together down the lane. That would be so cool.“They’re all different, every single one of them, but he is obviously the best of the bunch. The four out of that mare all won maiden special (weight races). There was a horse years back that got loose and jumped over the fence at Hollywood Park and almost wound up in the infield lake. That was his brother, Ashley’s Bambino. He came out of that episode to win another race.“Ashley’s Folly is just a good mare and we’ve got a lot of emotion involved with her.”Just like all her siblings. TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Richard Baltas12221211917%50%$1,223,952 Santiago Gonzalez12713211710%40%$661,673 STEVENS, ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR TOGETHER AGAIN Mike Smith561861432%68%$1,871,827 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Flavien Prat22351354323%58%$3,213,930 Mario Gutierrez95817108%37%$728,435 Rafael Bejarano13421232316%50%$1,395,101 John Sadler6010121217%57%$625,380 Luis Contreras8910102311%48%$487,537 Edwin Maldonado761191114%41%$363,016 Victor Espinoza62915715%50%$755,487 Peter Eurton56116720%43%$576,057 (Current Through Friday, March 17) Mark Glatt749111012%41%$452,655 Joseph Talamo15321162014%37%$736,038 Kent Desormeaux13730171522%45%$1,690,242 Bob Baffert591381022%53%$1,303,516 OKLAHOMA-BRED MAKES DEBUT SUNDAY FOR MANDELLAIf Taxman’s Quest comes anything close to Rogers and Hammerstein’s smash musical hit “Oklahoma,” Richard Mandella can expect rave reviews after Sunday’s $75,000 Pasadena Stakes for three-year-olds at a mile on turf.Taxman’s Quest, a son of Euroears bred in Oklahoma by his owners, the Litsch Family LLC, is unbeaten in his only two races, both sprints on dirt at Remington Park. He hasn’t raced since last Oct. 21, but has been firing bullets for Mandella at Santa Anita in preparation for the Pasadena.“A friend of a friend asked if I would be interested in him, and I looked up his races,” Mandella said in explaining how he acquired the chestnut gelding. “Yes, the races were against Oklahoma-breds, but pretty impressive, I thought.“We got him here and he’d had a little rest, but he’s trained very well up to this race.”Master of the understatement, Mandella might have outdone himself with that one. On March 14, Taxman’s Quest went five furlongs in 59.20, fastest of 23 drills at the distance; March 8, six furlongs in 1:12.40, fastest of 19; and March 1, five furlongs in 59.80, fastest of 42.“I wasn’t looking to run him on the turf,” Mandella said, “but it was the only option I had, so I’m going to try and get a race into him and see what we’ve got. I don’t know why he wouldn’t handle the turf.”While Oklahoma-breds racing in California are about as rare as snow in Pasadena, there have been at least two of note, 1986 Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame member Lady’s Secret, and 2007 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Kip Deville.The Pasadena, race eight of nine: Big Sky Logan, Corey Nakatani. 30-1; Taxman’s Quest, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Ritzy A.P., Victor Espinoza, 15-1; Ky. Colonel, Mike Smith, 6-1; Taco, J.M. Rios, 6-1, Cistron, Tyler Baze, 4-1; Monster Man, Rafael Bejarano, 20-1; Conquest Farenheit, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 5-2; Zakaroff, Joe Talamo, 6-1; and Bird Is the Word, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1. Norberto Arroyo, Jr.1001911919%39%$836,516 Philip D’Amato8516121319%48%$1,121,550 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Jamie Theriot7387511%27%$405,770             FINISH LINES: Friday’s St. Patrick’s Day program ended on a fitting note, as favored Irish Dame powered to a 3 ½ length win for trainer Vann Belvoir, giving leading man Flavien Prat his third win on the card and his 51st overall, through 44 racing days . . . With Spring Training in full swing in both Florida and Arizona, Nick Alexander’s homebred Pee Wee Reese got the ball rolling yesterday, capturing the first race, a $56,000 allowance at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, by 5 ¾ lengths under Joe Talamo. Named for the Dodgers’ legendary Hall of Fame second baseman, “Pee Wee” notched his third consecutive win for trainer Phil D’Amato. Alexander will hope to be in the Winner’s Circle again following’s today’s 10th race, as his homebred Catfish Hunter, a 3-year-old half brother to Pee Wee Reese, stretches out to a mile on turf with Tyler Baze up for trainer Steve Miyadi . . . Mike Smith compiles Frequent Flier mileage over the next week. The Hall of Fame rider pilots American Anthem for Bob Baffert today in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, returns to his home base of Santa Anita to ride Sunday, then heads halfway around the world to the Middle East where he rides Arrogate in the $10 million Dubai World Cup next Saturday. Agent Brad Pegram said Smith should be back in California next Sunday, March 29, but not in time to ride at Santa Anita. Baffert leaves Santa Anita this afternoon to hook up with Arrogate . . . There is a single ticket Jackpot Pick Six carryover today of $289,904.62 . . . Apprentice jockey Evin Roman has been suspended five racing days (March 23, 24, 25, 26 and 30) for interference aboard Candy Boss in last Sunday’s seventh race, which resulted in a disqualification from third to fourth. Tyler Baze23942443018%49%$2,216,922 J. Keith Desormeaux4394521%42%$504,945 Ruben Fuentes7671469%36%$200,320 Stewart Elliott14916162311%37%$772,968 Steven Miyadi59815614%49%$386,106last_img read more