Jeff Kindler may want to thank the heedless bankers that drove the global financial system into crisis. Without them, Pfizer might have paid billions more for Wyeth. According to a proxy Wyeth filed last week--and reported by BNet Pharma--the world's biggest drugmaker originally offered $53 per share for its takeover target. That's $2.70 per share more than Pfizer and Wyeth eventually agreed upon.
Here's how it went: Pfizer offered $53 way back in September. Wyeth thought about it--for a little too long. The market collapsed, and so did Wyeth's stock. From $41.27 at the time of Pfizer's first offer to $35.01 when Pfizer came back with a $46-per-share bid. Pfizer upped that bid to $47.50, then boosted it again to $50.33. Which is when Wyeth accepted and everyone shook hands.
So, if Kindler was helped by the banking crisis, then Wyeth definitely suffered (along with lots of the rest of the world, of course). So did its shareholders: If Wyeth's execs had dithered a little less and accepted that $53 offer, then shareholders would be collecting a total of $65 billion or so, rather than the $62 billion they're getting now. Oh, for 20/20 foresight.