Proposed Pfizer deal punishes most loyal

I am a Pfizer shareholder registering protest against the AstraZeneca deal that Pfizer Inc. is pushing. My main reason is the extraordinary tax consequences the deal would visit upon shareholders with PFE in taxable accounts; the requirement to pay taxes from the tax event that the AstraZeneca deal would trigger.

An article in the Wall Street Journal notes that Pfizer would cut its yearly tax bill by hundreds of millions of dollars if it buys rival AstraZeneca, but thousands of Pfizer shareholders will face a tax hit if the deal goes through. Shareholders with stock in taxable accounts would owe capital gains tax on the appreciation in their shares when they are converted into stock in the merged company.

Many find it incredible that Pfizer management would attempt to move forward with this deal to the detriment of shareholders. It is disingenuous that Pfizer would tout tax benefits of the proposal while ignoring negative consequences it would trigger for shareholders. Ironically, it would impose the worst impact on Pfizer's most faithful - those who have held shares the longest.

Pfizer enjoys a reputation as an honorable company with admirable concern for current and former employees - a valuable asset worth retaining.

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