Shire poised to recommend £31.3bn AbbVie offer

Drugs firm Shire today said it was ready to recommend a £31.3 billion offer from US rival AbbVie as the two groups held talks over a possible deal.

After seeing four previous bids rebuffed by Shire, AbbVie came back yesterday with a proposal that values the Dublin-based group at £53.20 a share. If a deal went through, Shire shareholders would own about 25 per cent of the enlarged entity.

Shire said: “The board of Shire has indicated to AbbVie that it would be willing to recommend an offer at the level of the revised proposal to Shire shareholders subject to satisfactory resolution of the other terms of the offer.

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“Accordingly, the board is in detailed discussions with AbbVie in relation to these terms.”

AbbVie is keen to buy Shire to diversify its drug portfolio and reduce its US tax bill by moving its tax base to Britain.