Shire opens door to rival AbbVie's revised offer

Dublin-based drugmaker received revised approach of £53.20 a share

The latest proposal is AbbVie’s fifth attempt to lure Shire into a takeover since the courtship began in May. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The latest proposal is AbbVie’s fifth attempt to lure Shire into a takeover since the courtship began in May. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 20:12

Shire has opened the door to a takeover by US pharmaceuticals rival AbbVie after saying its board would be willing to recommend a £31 billion cash and shares proposal received at the weekend.

The Dublin-based drugmaker said it had on Sunday received a revised approach from AbbVie equivalent to £53.20 a share. Shire’s London-listed shares rose 2.7 per cent to £50 yesterday.

The groups held talks in New York last week involving Rick Gonzalez, AbbVie chief executive, Susan Kilsby, Shire chairman, and Flemming Ornskov, Shire chief executive.Under UK takeover rules, AbbVie has until Friday to make a firm offer to shareholders or walk away.

The latest proposal is AbbVie’s fifth attempt to lure Shire into a takeover since the courtship began in May.

The news comes against the backdrop of mounting concern over cross-border takeovers involving UK companies, prompted by Pfizer’s abortive move to acquire AstraZeneca. Vince Cable, business secretary, has announced plans to strengthen Britain’s takeover rules to make it harder for international bidders to renege on promises made during deal negotiations.(Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014)