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Drug maker Shire rejects offer from AbbVie

Published: Friday, June 20, 2014 6:29 p.m. CST

LONDON – The Dublin-based drugmaker Shire said Friday it has rejected an unsolicited 27 billion-pound ($46.2 billion) offer from AbbVie Inc., arguing that it fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects.

The company said in a statement Friday that U.S.-based AbbVie’s proposal was for 20.44 pounds ($34.78) and 0.7988 shares per Shire share. That values Shire stock at 46.11 pounds each – a 23 percent premium to its price of 37.38 pounds on Thursday.

Based on the number of outstanding shares in the company, the deal values Shire at 27.1 billion pounds.

Besides the price, Shire PLC says its board also has concerns about company structure “as AbbVie would redomicile in the UK for tax purposes.”

The offer comes at a time of intense speculation in the industry, as drugmakers look to grow or eliminate noncore assets while focusing on strengths.

Last month, Pfizer pulled the plug on a takeover offer for Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca, amid intense political pressure to keep jobs in Britain.

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