AbbVie’s bid to take over Shire weakens amid mixed messages

Michael Bow
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US drug firm AbbVie’s bid to take over UK rival Shire softened again yesterday after shares fell for a second day.

The drop added to the US group’s woes after it was forced to issue an embarrassing clarification about shareholder support for the proposed deal.

Chief executive Rick Gonzalez said shareholders backed him but yesterday the firm was forced to admit it had “not received any written commitments of support and accordingly retracts the statements”.

AbbVie’s bid for Shire hovered around the £50 mark yesterday after the company’s shares dropped 1.2 per cent. The £50 price is seen by company analysts as the minimum price to get Shire around the table.

AbbVie’s bid is the fourth time it had made an offer for the group, leading analysts to speculate a rival firm will mount a counterbid.

The US drug giant has offered 0.8568 of shares in the new firm in exchange for each Shire, plus £22.44 in cash.

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