Shire: A takeover target?

Shire's portfolio of best-selling ADHD drugs, rare-disease treatments and its strong pipeline could make it an irresistible target to a Big Pharma company. That's according to Bloomberg, which notes that cash-rich pharmas are likely to be attracted to a smaller company that's experienced steady growth over the last several years 

"Shire stands out like a sore thumb," Matrix Corporate Capital analyst Navid Malik told the news outlet. "The big pharma companies have issues with generics and Shire is sitting there saying they have a target of 15 percent revenue growth. How can a pharma company ignore that?"

When Genzyme ran into manufacturing problems with several of its rare-disease drugs, Shire's Replagal for Fabry disease patients and Vpriv for Gaucher disease were there to pick up the slack. Rare diseases are a hot commodity now, making the company's assets very attractive to buyers like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. Indeed, both companies have announced plans to boost investments in this area. Additionally, Shire has a market-leading portfolio of ADHD drugs, including blockbuster Adderall XR and next-generation treatment Vyvanse, which is being studied for a variety of uses--including depression and schizophrenia.

Shire CEO Angus Russell says his company plans to remain independent, but he hasn't completely closed his mind to the possibility of a buyout. "We're an independent company, but we're a public company as well, and on behalf of our shareholders obviously we always have to entertain approaches that are significantly value-enhancing," he noted in a recent interview.

- read the report from Bloomberg