Is popular sentiment confident about the Pfizer takeover of AstraZeneca?

May 6, 2014 — by

AstraZeneca, the UK’s second-biggest pharmaceutical company after GlaxoSmithKline, employs 6,700 people in the UK. Last week, Pfizer increased its take over bid of Astra Zeneca to £63 billion. However, 3 years ago Pfizer closed its world-renowned research laboratory in Sandwich, Kent, triggering more than 1,500 job losses. So confidence in Pfizer acquiring AstraZeneca and safeguarding jobs and nurturing R&D in the UK is a little shaky.

Tracking the twitter activity mentioning Pfizer and Astra Zeneca, in context of the takeover bid, shows a trend towards a more negative sentiment over the course of the last 7 days. There have been 21.5k tweets in total with the peak of activity being on Friday 2nd May, with the announcement of the latest bid, showing 13,755 tweets.

Tweets Volume Pfizer/AstraZeneca 2014-05-06 10.58.01

Twitter volume reached its peak on Fri 2nd May with 13,755 tweets.

Ave sentiment Pfizer/AstraZeneca 2014-05-06 11.28.53
With the announcement of the takeover bid last Friday, the *Blurrt Score dropped from 33 to 31, and has since dropped steadily with an average Blurrt Score of 29 over the last 24 hours.

Blurrt Score Pfizer/AstraZeneca2014-05-06 11.50.15

Today, the bosses of each company have been summoned to the government’s Business Select Committee to face direct questioning as early as next week. This is the biggest takeover bid ever made by a foreign company and people are divided on the merits of such an acquisition. Figures in science and business, such as John LaMattina, Pfizer’s former president of global R&D, and the former science minister Lord Sainsbury, have been more circumspect about the potential impact on the UK’s science base with growing calls for a tougher public interest test ahead of takeovers of important businesses.

Here in the UK, the question is will an instant financial gain be more influential with the shareholders and decision makers or is public opinion and the interests of UK plc gaining influence?

*The Blurrt Score is a metric to provide a near real-time measure of brand perception on Twitter. Taking a simple combination of average sentiment and volume of tweets, the Blurrt Score offers a stable, comparable index to display day to day changes in market sentiment, or shorter reaction to ad campaigns, broadcasts, news stories or shock events.

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