Shire in $5.2bn deal for US biotech NPS

Acquisition is the biggest ever by the Irish- headquartered drugmaker

Shire’s  offices at Citywest Business Campus, Dublin: the Footsie 100 Shire group is looking to build its pipeline of standalone speciality drugs. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Shire’s offices at Citywest Business Campus, Dublin: the Footsie 100 Shire group is looking to build its pipeline of standalone speciality drugs. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

 

Shire, the Irish-headquartered drugmaker, has made its biggest ever acquisition with a $5.2 billion deal for US biotechnology company NPS Pharmaceuticals, as the FTSE-100 group looks to build its pipeline of standalone speciality drugs.

The move comes just three months after Shire’s proposed $54 billion sale to larger US rival AbbVie collapsed soon after the US government moved to limit the tax advantages of takeovers in which an acquirer seeks to use the transaction to redomicile its tax base outside the US.

51 per cent premium

Lossmaking NPS specialises in rare treatments and has one drug approved in the US, Germany and Sweden to treat Short Bowel Syndrome, a gastrointestinal disorder.

It is also seeking approval for hormone replacement therapy that can be used to treat hypo- parathyroidism, a rare disease affecting the endocrine system.

It is being reviewed by US health regulators with a possible decision this month. If approved, analysts have said it would significantly bolster the value of NPS.

Flemming Ornskov, Shire chief executive, said: “Based on what we saw in the regulatory filings and with the correspondence with the FDA, we feel confident that it’s a risk worth taking. What was absolutely key for us was to get in as early as possible. If all goes well, the deal could close in the first quarter.”

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