|Baxalta CEO Ludwig Hantson|
It's taken a months-long pursuit, but Shire ($SHPG) is finally reportedly on the verge of nabbing target Baxalta ($BXLT).
The two drugmakers are discussing a price between $46.50 and $48 per share for the Illinois drugmaker, sources told Bloomberg over the weekend. And with final details in negotiation, the pair may announce an accord as early as this week.
At the rumored price, a deal would ring in about $2 billion higher than $30 billion bid Baxalta CEO Ludwig Hantson over the summer criticized as "lowball." But perhaps most importantly, it'll also include a cash component, which Reuters has said was a sticking point in getting the Baxter ($BAX) spinoff to come to the bargaining table.
It wouldn't be the first time Shire snapped up a coveted rare-disease drugmaker to start the new year. Last January, it inked a $5.2 billion pact for NPS Pharmaceuticals that brought it GI therapy Gattex and hypoparathyroidism treatment Natpara.
A Baxalta tie-up would do more than give Shire's rare-disease portfolio a boost, though, CEO Flemming Ornskov figures. The way he sees it, merging the two companies would generate $20 billion in sales by 2020-- creating one of the world's leading rare-disease drugmakers in the meanwhile.
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Special Report: The 25 most influential people in biopharma in 2015 - Flemming Ornskov - Shire