US-based pharmaceuticals company AbbVie has hiked its offer for Shire to £51.15 per share in the form of cash and shares.
Following AbbVie's 25 June announcement it has said that it has "met with, or spoken to, a large number of Shire shareholders, who collectively represent a majority of Shire's outstanding shares".
"The majority of these shareholders are longer-term holders of Shire, including the majority of Shire's latest shareholders."
AbbVie's last offer, in cash and shares, was valued at £46.26. Shire shares have jumped on the news, trading at around £46.90 at pixel time.
Update: Shire has since announced that its board will meet to discuss the proposal.
Analysts at Jefferies have previously suggested that there would have been limited product portfolio synergies following a merger, and as a result assume that potential cost savings, tax benefits, and diversification motivated the approach.
A Shire acquisition would likely see AbbVie meet tax inversion criteria, with 20 per cent or more of the combined entities' shareholders being non-US. AbbVie could then benefit from Shire’s favourable tax position and Irish domicile.