Irish drug giant Shire Pharmaceuticals is prepared to top up its offer to woo rival Baxalta to the negotiating table on condition it is given direct access to its books, sources say.
Shire made its all-stock $30bn (£19.2bn), or $45 per share, offer last month for US drug maker Baxalta, which has so far held back from talks.
“If they open up the books… Shire would be in a position to drive up its offer,” a source close to the deal told City A.M., dismissing a claim in the Sunday Times of a $5bn increase because a figure is yet to be determined “when the books are examined”.
Shire has also been speaking to shareholders on both sides who have expressed appetite for the deal, the source said. Baxalta’s shareholders are going to be “leaning heavily” on its board over the offer, the source added last night.
Banks on the roadshow with Shire are also “very pleased” about the shareholder reaction to the touted deal.
Joining the two drug makers could create a global leader in rare diseases with multiple billion-dollar franchises, Dublin-based Shire said in a July statement.
A deal would be “strategically and financially attractive” for both companies, Shire chief executive Flemming Ornskov said at the time. Together, Baxalta and Shire are projected to deliver product sales of $20bn in 2020. “It is our strong preference to immediately enter into a negotiated transaction to explore the full potential of the proposed combination and finalise the terms of an agreement,” he said.