STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- The American Pfizer Inc. is unlikely to come back with a fresh bid for the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca PLC, the latter’s top executive was quoted as saying by the Swedish business daily Dagens Industri Saturday. A $118 billion offer for AstraZeneca by Pfizer came to naught in May, and British takeover rules now allow Pfizer to renew its pursuit.

“I consider it unlikely that Pfizer will return with a bid,” AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told the newspaper. Soriot said last month that a U.S. clampdown on tax inversions had made the lucrative tax basis underpinning Pfizer’s approaches more uncertain.

“I can’t say it will never happen, but the probability that Pfizer returns is much less,” Soriot told Dagens Industri. The U.S. company signed a major cancer-drug deal with Merck KGaA last month, reducing its need for AstraZeneca’s products.

“Above all, our share price has risen, so we have become more expensive. Today’s share price is at a level with the first offer Pfizer made early this year,” Soriot told the paper. His company’s share price has risen 28 percent this year.

(Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)