For months, AbbVie mounted a dogged pursuit of Shire, learning from the mistakes of the now-thwarted Pfizer and maintaining its patients without letting lines go cold, largely avoiding major missteps as it closed in on its target.
AbbVie may have just struck a deal with Shire in order to diversify beyond its top drug, Humira. But that doesn't mean the drug isn't steamrolling.
When AbbVie buys out Shire for nearly $55 billion in a deal the two companies agreed on last week, there will be no golden parachute awaiting Shire chief Flemming Ornskov. Instead, there's a signing bonus in order: The helmsman will pocket just under $10 million for staying on with the combined company in a new role.
Gilead Sciences got to the market first with an interferon-free oral hepatitis C fighter, a category projected to hit $20 billion in sales by 2020. Its Sovaldi has been racking up unprecedented sales, and a raft of litigation, as other drugmakers look for a way to get a piece of that action.
Now that AbbVie has hammered out its $55 billion takeover deal for Shire, analysts are looking for the next big biopharma tax inversion deal.
With a bid reaching nearly $55 billion and some goodies for the top execs, AbbVie was finally able to get Ireland-based Shire to surrender its independence, a portfolio of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and rare disease drugs, and its low Irish tax base.
After months of semi-clandestine courtship, AbbVie and Shire have settled on a price: For $54.7 billion in cash and stock, the U.S. drugmaker will absorb its Irish target, securing a pipeline of promising rare disease treatments and a new address that should slash its tax rate.
Look who's talking. After four takeover bids from AbbVie, target Shire is finally in discussions with the Illinois drugmaker. And those have yielded yet another improved offer--a $53.7 billion bid Shire says its board would back.
There's a whiff of inevitability with AbbVie's quest for Shire, as the latter company has confirmed that the two have found an agreeable price, setting the stage for a potential merger worth about $53.7 billion.
With time running out for AbbVie to strike a deal with Shire before it will have to walk away for as long as 6 months under U.K. takeover law, the Illinois-based company is encouraging top Shire shareholders to push the Irish drugmaker toward the bargaining table.