This file photo shows the exterior of Pfizer in Groton. Picture: Elise Amendola

London -

US drugs giant Pfizer on Monday confirmed its interest over forming a multi-billion-dollar merger with British rival AstraZeneca, adding that an informal approach made in January had been rebuffed.

“Pfizer Inc confirms that it previously submitted a preliminary, non-binding indication of interest to the board of directors of AstraZeneca in January 2014 regarding a possible merger transaction,” said a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange one week after media reports regarding a potential tie-up.

“After limited high-level discussions, AstraZeneca declined to pursue negotiations,” added the statement issued by Pfizer, in which the US company confirmed also “its continuing interest in a possible merger transaction”. - Sapa-AFP