By Caroline Humer and Ankur Banerjee (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc and Ireland-based Allergan Plc walked away from their $160 billion merger on Wednesday, a major win for President Barack Obama, who has been pushing to curb deals in which companies move overseas to cut taxes. Pfizer said the decision was driven by new U.S. Treasury rules aimed at such deals, called inversions. The merger would have allowed New York-based Pfizer to cut its tax bill by an estimated $1 billion annually by domiciling in Ireland, where tax rates are lower. While the new Treasury rules did not name Pfizer and Allergan, one of the provisions targeted a specific feature of their merger - Allergan's history as a major acquirer of other companies. Allergan Chief Executive Brent Saunders said on CNBC television that the new Treasury rule would not stop the company from doing other stock-based acquisitions as soon as this fall. The new Treasury rule takes into account the past three years of a company's deals. "It really looked like they did a very fine job at constructing a temporary rule to stop this deal and obviously it was successful," Saunders said. Saunders said that he would stay to run the standalone company with a focus on both deals and research and development. Allergan will also move ahead with plans for its $40.5 billion sale of its generic drug business to Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries . It expects the transaction to close by June. With the deal behind it, Pfizer said it would decide this year about whether to split off its hundreds of generic medicines into a separate business. It had put off making that decision until 2019 after announcing its deal with Allergan last November. Pfizer will pay Allergan $150 million to reimburse expenses from its deal. Shares of Allergan, which fell 15 percent on Tuesday, were up 3.3 percent at $244.38 at mid-afternoon. Pfizer rose 4.7 percent to $32.84. Pfizer has new products coming and plenty of money that it could put to work with acquisitions, though not on the scale of Allergan, said Les Funtleyder, healthcare portfolio manager at E Squared Asset Management in New York, which holds Pfizer shares. It is not clear that Pfizer should definitely split into two, he said. "It is true that these larger companies are a little unwieldy to manage," Funtleyder said, "but there are plenty of strategies to keep them together and increase shareholder value." The decision to call off the deal came in part because Pfizer was concerned that any tweaks to salvage its deal with Allergan might have provoked new rules by the Treasury, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Tuesday. Obama on Tuesday called global tax avoidance a "huge problem" and urged Congress to take action to stop U.S. companies from deals that allow it. U.S. inversion rules have unraveled other mergers. U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc abandoned its $55 billion takeover of Ireland-domiciled peer Shire Plc in 2014 after the Obama administration cracked down on inversions. AbbVie had to pay Shire a $1.6 billion break-up fee. (Reporting by Caroline Humer in New York and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Nick Zieminski)
- Miami Herald
Jon Reynolds, a Florida Keys charter boat fishing captain, opened up a plastic trash bag Thursday night during a meeting with federal regulators and pulled out a huge ball of thick monofilament line that’s used to target en masse mahi mahi, also commonly known as dolphinfish.
- The Daily Beast
Sergei Karpukhin/ReutersHot on the heels of embarrassing reports of Russian recruits fighting each other and Moscow loyalists calling for Kremlin ministers to kill themselves, it seems the rage against Vladimir Putin’s handling of his invasion of Ukraine is now openly being conveyed to the man himself by members of his own inner circle.A report Friday—which is Putin’s 70th birthday—said that one of the despot’s closest allies had openly challenged the disastrous way the war was being conducted.
According to Camilla's royal biographer.
- The Telegraph
Prince William was “furious” about the way in which Queen Elizabeth II’s private secretary was forced out following a power struggle with the then Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, a new book has claimed.
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- Business Insider
A YouTuber's 'disaster' towing with the F-150 Lightning highlights one of the drawbacks of electric trucks today
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- USA TODAY
Women's rights activists are fighting to prevent a lawyer accused of beating his girlfriend from becoming a state judge.
"Gentrification Is Real": This Woman Says Neighbors Offered Her $800K For Her Grandfather's Multi-Million-Dollar Home
Keisha Credit inherited her grandfather's home in a multi-million-dollar neighborhood. However, shortly after his passing, she started receiving offers as low as $800,000. "That’s good money, but absolutely not. It's disrespectful and assumes I don’t know the value of my home," she said.View Entire Post ›
Thousands of lineworkers have gone to Florida to repair downed power lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Their wives are warning 'bucket bunnies' to stay away.
"Blue collar is not a trend, it's a lifestyle."
- NBC Sports
Players were more shocked the video got leaked than the incident itself.
- The Daily Beast
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- Yahoo Sports
Richard Sherman blows a gasket after watching Russell Wilson lose on a pass at the goal line (again)
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Lee is survived by her husband, former WWE wrestler Cory Weston, and their three young children.
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The woman appeared to tell the Princess of Wales, "Ireland belongs to the Irish"
- Yahoo Sports
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- The Telegraph
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- The Hill
Tropical Storm Julia is expected to form Friday and will likely become a hurricane over the southern Caribbean this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said.
- The New York Times
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- Journal Star
Here are 12 baseball records that will never be broken, as Yankees Aaron Judge hits historic 62nd home run.