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Pfizer is nearing a deal worth about $14bn to acquire California biotechnology company Medivation, beating a handful of its biggest rivals to win the auction for the sought-after cancer drugmaker.

People close to the talks said a deal between Pfizer, the world’s second-largest drugmaker, and Medivation could be announced as early as Monday, though they cautioned that the two sides were in the process of finalising their agreement.

San Francisco-based Medivation makes the world’s best-selling prostate cancer drug, Xtandi, which is forecast to generate $5.7bn in annual revenues by 2020.

The deal would mark the return of Pfizer to big-ticket dealmaking after its attempt to buy Dublin-based Allergan for $150bn was thwarted by the Obama administration, which wanted to stop the company moving its headquarters to Ireland, with its low-tax regime.

In the news

ChemChina clears Syngenta takeover hurdle Shares in Syngenta jumped 12 per cent on Monday after a US committee scrutinising national security concerns approved ChemChina’s $44bn takeover of the Swiss agribusiness. Investors had seen US worries about national security in a strategically important sector as the main obstacle to a successful transaction — leading to Syngenta’s shares trading at a significant discount to the offer price. (FT)

Islamist admits destroying Timbuktu shrines Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi has admitted destroying cultural sites in Timbuktu, Mali, in a landmark trial at the International Criminal Court. Mr Mahdi, who was accused of leading rebel forces who destroyed historic shrines at the world heritage site in 2012, said he was “really sorry” for his actions. It is the first time that the court in The Hague has tried a case of cultural destruction. (BBC)

Lavish ceremony ends Brazil’s Olympic reprieve Rio de Janeiro wrapped up the 2016 Olympics on Sunday evening with a lavish show of Brazilian culture as the country exulted in a games that far exceeded expectations at home and abroad. The show signalled the return of some of the traditional chutzpah of a country battered by twin economic and political crises, although any feel-good effect may fade once reality comes roaring back this week, analysts say. The end of the games comes as politicians are expected to begin the final phase of the impeachment of leftwing president Dilma Rousseff, opening the way for her permanent replacement by centrist interim president Michel Temer. (FT)

UK infrastructure spending slumps Big project spending in Britain has declined sharply since the vote to leave the EU, putting pressure on Theresa May to press ahead with pledges for new road, rail, energy, broadband and flood defence projects. The value of contracts for July dropped to £1.5bn, a fall of 20 per cent against the previous month and 23 per cent lower than a year ago. (FT)

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Boardroom shake-up Google’s parent Alphabet and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway head a list of more than 800 US companies that could come under pressure to refresh their boards, under new guidelines being floated among shareholders. ISS, the influential corporate governance adviser, is considering targeting companies where boards are stuffed with long-serving directors or where there have been no new members for years. (FT)

Reserve Bank of India opts for orthodoxy Over the weekend, New Delhi quietly announced the elevation of Urjit Patel to head the central bank. He is considered a safe pair of hands who will bring continuity to the RBI. (FT)

Donald Trump: king of debt The Republican nominee has sold himself as a businessman worth billions who is beholden to no one. But an investigation into his real estate holdings revealed that his companies have at least $650m in debt — twice what he has claimed in public filings — from a wide variety of lenders, including the Bank of China and Goldman Sachs. (NYT)

It’s a big day for

The EU The leaders of Germany, France and Italy meet to discuss migration, economic growth and the future of the bloc. (Reuters)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s week ahead.

Food for thought

Donald Trump’s dark inner Richard Nixon Donald Trump may have borrowed Nixon’s 1968 playbook by running a fear-based campaign that appeals to law and order. But today’s silent majority is way less white than it was back then. As an electoral strategy, Mr Trump’s campaign is flirting with suicide, says Ed Luce. (FT) Keep up with the 2016 race with our daily US politics newsletter. Sign up here. 

Pharma: staying power Once a drugmaker loses exclusive rights to sell a medicine, generic copycat versions quickly flood the market, causing prices to fall. This gives big pharma room to argue it must charge high prices to cover the cost of discovering new medicines and bringing them to market. However, an FT analysis has found that drugmakers are still making billions of dollars a year from sales of drugs that have lost patent protection. (FT)

Deutsche Bank’s $10bn scandal At first glance, the trades appeared banal, even pointless. Deutsche Bank earned a small commission for executing the buy and sell orders, but in financial terms the clients finished roughly where they began. To inspect the trades individually, however, was like standing too close to an Impressionist painting — you saw the brushstrokes and missed the lilies. These transactions had an alchemical purpose: to turn roubles that were stuck in Russia into dollars stashed outside Russia. (New Yorker)

Tragically Hip’s final act In an unparalleled moment of national pride laced with sorrow, Canada stopped for a few hours on Saturday night to venerate Tragically Hip, the band that for many has come closest to defining that country’s cultural identity. In late May, the band’s frontman Gord Downie, revealed that he had terminal brain cancer. Far from retreating, the band instead planned a short summer tour, by turns jubilant and wrenching, that has transfixed much of Canada for the last month. (NYT)

The bane of brilliance The notion that jealous managers bully high-performing underlings has been well researched. But management experts now say it is not only small-minded bosses that star workers need to overcome; it is also their colleagues. (The Economist)

Video of the day

Is greed good? John Authers talks to State Street’s Suzanne Duncan about a new report that concludes that the more someone has an emotional attachment to money, the more likely they are to make mistakes with money. (FT)

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