AbbVie seals £31.1bn deal for rival Shire in tax inversion move

Billy Ehrenberg
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US pharmaceutical giant AbbVie has wrapped up the acquisition of Shire for £31bn (Source: Getty)

After weeks of speculation, US pharmaceutical giant AbbVie has wrapped up the acquisition of Shire for £31bn as it stands to benefit from the UK's more lenient tax laws.

For each Shire stock they hold, shareholders will receive 0.9 of a new AbbVie share and £24.40 in cash.

AbbVie has become the latest US company to bid for a UK rival, following Pfizer's failed attempt to takeover AstraZeneca.

There has been some debate in recent weeks about inversion, a term for companies moving their headquarters offshore to avoid more onerous tax burdens.

AbbVie has indicated that it will registered in the UK, meaning revenues will no longer fall under US tax laws.

Richard Gonzalez, AbbVie chairman and chief executive, denied that the takeover was conducted for tax reasons. In a conference call today Gonzalez agreed that lower tax was a benefit but said that the deal was attractive for strategic and financial reasons.

The companies released a joint statement in which the outlined the terms of the deal and their vision for future:

"The Transaction will create a well-positioned and focused specialty biopharmaceutical company, with sustainable leadership positions within areas of unmet need, including immunology, rare diseases, neuroscience, metabolic diseases and liver disease (HCV) and multiple emerging oncology programs."

Shares in Shire were up 2.25 per cent at pixel time.

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