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Shire Gets New AbbVie Takeover Proposal

Shire Gets New AbbVie Takeover Proposal


LONDON-- Shire PLC said Monday it has received a new takeover proposal from AbbVie Inc. valued at more than $53 billion, which it would be willing to recommend to shareholders.

Shire, which specializes in drugs to treat attention-deficit disorder and rare diseases, added that it is now in detailed talks with AbbVie over the terms of the new proposal. The new proposal, valued at GBP53.2 ($91.05) a share Shire, represents a 4% increase on AbbVie's most recent offer of GBP51.15 a share.

Under the revised proposal Shire shareholders would get GBP24.44 in cash and 0.8960 shares of new AbbVie per Shire share, and own 25% of the combined group.

The revised proposal, which comes after the two companies met last week, remains subject to the preconditions set by AbbVie on July 8, including due diligence and the recommendation of the board of Shire, which cautioned that there can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made.

Dublin-based Shire previously rejected offers from the U.S. company, saying they undervalued the company's growth prospects.

North Chicago, Ill.-based AbbVie, which was spun off from Abbott Laboratories in early 2013, has until July 18 under U.K. takeover rules to make a firm bid for Shire or walk away.

AbbVie, which makes the blockbuster arthritis drug Humira, first began evaluating Shire as a potential takeover target last fall and made an initial cash-and-stock proposal to Shire in early May.

AbbVie has said it would seek to reincorporate in the U.K. after it bought Shire, a so-called inversion that several American companies have sought in recent months to lower their tax rates.

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