UPDATE 1-British PM tells Pfizer wants more commitments for AstraZeneca deal

Wed May 7, 2014 10:33am EDT
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* PM Cameron says "I'm not satisfied" with pledges so far

* Pfizer has given 5-year commitments on research

* Political storm deepens over Pfizer takeover proposal

* Cameron hints Britain could intervene in takeover deal (Recasts with Cameron comments)

By William James and Kate Holton

LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron demanded U.S. drugmaker Pfizer give stronger guarantees it will keep jobs and investment in Britain in order to secure his government's blessing for a takeover of AstraZeneca.

By proposing the biggest ever foreign takeover of a British firm, New York-based Pfizer has sparked fierce debate on whether the government should let outsiders buy a pharmaceuticals group seen as a national champion in a strategically vital industry.

The government initially welcomed the bid as a vote of confidence in a tax system it has designed to attract investors. But after intense pressure in parliament, Cameron said on Wednesday that Britain had to be hardheaded and indicated he even supported possible intervention to hold up the purchase.

"The commitments that have been made so far are encouraging," Cameron said when asked about the $106-billion takeover offer during his weekly question session in parliament.   Continued...