July 13, 2017 / 8:11 AM / 4 months ago

AstraZeneca slumps on report CEO is heading to Teva

LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - Shares in AstraZeneca fell more than 5 percent on Thursday after a media report said Chief Executive Pascal Soriot was about to defect to Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Soriot, who has led the Anglo-Swedish company since 2012, has met with Teva’s search committee and its chairman and expressed his agreement to serve as its next CEO, the Calcalist financial news website said late on Wednesday.

Both companies said they did not comment on market rumours.

Teva was left without a permanent CEO in February after Erez Vigodman stepped down, leaving new management to try to restore confidence in the world’s biggest generic drugmaker after a series of missteps. Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh also resigned at the end of June.

AstraZeneca’s shares fell to a two-month low of 49.21 pounds on Thursday. Teva’s shares traded up 4 pct to 114.5 shekels in Tel Aviv.

Reporting by Paul Sandle, Ben Hirschler and Tova Cohen. Editing by Jane Merriman

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