AbbVie says Shire rejected bid valuing it at $46 billion

by Reuters
Friday, 20 June 2014 06:38 GMT

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LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - British drugmaker Shire has rejected a takeover offer from AbbVie Inc which would have valued the group at around 27 billion pounds ($46 billion), the U.S. firm said on Friday.

AbbVie, which said the talks were no longer ongoing, was responding to press speculation on Thursday which had revealed the talks.

AbbVie's initial cash and share proposal in early May 2014 represented an indicative offer of 39.50 pounds per share for Shire, and the third and latest cash and share proposal represented an indicative offer of 46.26 pounds, it said.

AbbVie, which makes rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, has a market capitalisation of around $86 billion. Shares in Shire closed at 37.38 pounds on Thursday, giving it a market capitalization of 22 billion pounds ($38 billion).

A share offer of 46.26 would give Shire a market cap of 27 billion pounds.

The bid talks come as U.S. healthcare companies look to acquire overseas rivals partly to lower their tax rates.

Founded in 1986 in Britain, Shire conducts most of its business in the United States and has been domiciled in Ireland for tax purposes since 2008.

With its tax base in Ireland, where effective corporate tax rates are among the lowest in the world, Shire, with a mid-sized market value, has been seen as a prime takeover target for U.S. drugmakers.

Shire specialises in medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which account for around 40 percent of its sales. The firm also sells drugs to treat rare genetic disorders and is building up a portfolio of treatments in ophthalmology and other specialty disease areas.

($1 = 0.5864 British Pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Li-mei Hoang and Jane Merriman)

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