AstraZeneca shares sink 8% after $39 billion Alexion buyout By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of AstraZeneca is seen on medication packages in a pharmacy in London

(Reuters) – Shares of AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) 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 (NASDAQ:) 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.

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