Now that AbbVie has hammered out its $55 billion takeover deal for Shire, analysts are looking for the next big biopharma tax inversion deal.
With a bid reaching nearly $55 billion and some goodies for the top execs, AbbVie was finally able to get Ireland-based Shire to surrender its independence, a portfolio of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and rare disease drugs, and its low Irish tax base.
After months of semi-clandestine courtship, AbbVie and Shire have settled on a price: For $54.7 billion in cash and stock, the U.S. drugmaker will absorb its Irish target, securing a pipeline of promising rare disease treatments and a new address that should slash its tax rate.
Look who's talking. After four takeover bids from AbbVie, target Shire is finally in discussions with the Illinois drugmaker. And those have yielded yet another improved offer--a $53.7 billion bid Shire says its board would back.
There's a whiff of inevitability with AbbVie's quest for Shire, as the latter company has confirmed that the two have found an agreeable price, setting the stage for a potential merger worth about $53.7 billion.
With time running out for AbbVie to strike a deal with Shire before it will have to walk away for as long as 6 months under U.K. takeover law, the Illinois-based company is encouraging top Shire shareholders to push the Irish drugmaker toward the bargaining table.
Shire has refused to negotiate with a dogged AbbVie after four increasingly priced overtures, and now, with a $51.5 billion offer on the table, AbbVie is pressing shareholders to badger the company into agreeing to a sit-down.
Allergan has said it's working on some plans of its own to give investors "most of what they want" instead of the $53 billion hostile bid that Valeant and lead Allergan shareholder Pershing Square have put before them. And if those plans include a pickup of its own, it better get to it, shareholders say.
The share prices of AbbVie and takeover target Shire keep drifting downward amid sustained uncertainty over a deal. A couple of healthcare investors we talked to feel the deal is by no means definite--a concern that is also reflected in the continued wide spread between the latest offer price and Shire's share price.
Allergan can't stop Valeant from attempting to round up enough support to call a special meeting, overturn its board and strike its takeover defenses. But it can make moves it believes will convince shareholders it's better off standing on its own two feet.