AbbVie seals $54 billion Shire takeover

By Dow Jones newswires

AbbVie says it wants to acquire Shire to diversify: It lacks a presence in Shire's twin specialties of drugs to treat attention-deficit disorder and treatments for rare genetic diseases like Hunter syndrome.

US drug maker AbbVie Inc said Friday it reached a deal to buy Shire PLC for more than $54 billion, one of the largest deals to date where a US company seeks to lower its tax rate by buying a foreign rival.

If the Shire deal is successful, North Chicago, Ill-based AbbVie plans to base the new combined company in the UK to benefit from its lower corporate tax rate.

AbbVie also argues its greater global resources and scale could help boost Shire's sales and its larger pool of scientists and regulatory experts could accelerate Shire's new-drug research and development.

The offer, which has the backing of the Shire board, will be £24. 44 in cash and 0. 8960 AbbVie share per Shire share.

Shire's board had previously rejected four takeover offers from AbbVie, the first valued at £46. 26 a share in mid-June.

The acquisition of Shire would help diversify AbbVie's current focus on anti-inflammatory, HIV and cancer drugs and reduce its dependence on Humira before its US patent expires in 2016.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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