By Michael Dabaie
Fitch Ratings said it placed Pfizer ratings on Rating Watch Negative.
Pfizer's proposed deal for Array BioPharma makes strategic sense, according to Fitch, increasing its presence in oncology. Pfizer this week agreed to buy Array for $10.64 billion in cash.
Fitch said it expects the acquisition will increase leverage, which is already currently stressed for Pfizer's current "A+" rating.
"The company continues to demonstrate little appetite for reducing leverage, despite the more tax-efficient access to its international cash generation provided by 2017 tax reform," Fitch said.
The ratings agency said it will resolve the Negaive Watch when the deal closes and it anticipates a one-notch downgrade of the Long-Term Issuer Default Rating to "A" is likely.
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