Shire eyes deals using $1.6bn AbbVie windfall after takeover bid falls apart

Oliver Smith
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Shire is in discussions with acquisition targets (Source: Getty)
UK drugmaker Shire is eyeing up a number of acquisitions as it looks set to receive a windfall of as much as $1.6bn (£994m) from AbbVie, as the US pharma giant’s $54bn takeover bid falls apart.

Shire is in discussions with acquisition targets including NPS Pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceutical firm Cubist, according to The Sunday Times.

AbbVie recommended its shareholders vote against the proposed deal to buy UK drugmaker Shire last week, essentially ending the takeover bid and knocking Shire’s shares down nearly 30 per cent by Friday.

AbbVie said it would rethink the acquisition in the wake of the US Treasury’s plans to curb so-called tax inversion deals – the popular practice of US firms relocating their tax headquarters to countries with more favourable tax rates through a foreign takeover.

Jefferies analyst Peter Welford last week wrote: “Including the potential $1.6bn break fee from AbbVie, Shire could be even more favourably positioned to execute on its own acquisition strategy.”

Shire is due to publish its third quarter financial results at the end of this week.

Shire declined to comment.

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