Shire prepared to walk on Baxalta talks if deal doesn't come soon: WSJ

Whether it ends in a tie-up or not, Shire's ($SHPG) 6-month pursuit of Baxalta ($BXLT) is about to come to a close.

That's the word from a Wall Street Journal source close to the deal, who told the newspaper the Dublin drugmaker expects to ink a pact or walk away "reasonably soon."

"Most things have [now] been examined," the source said.

Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov

Naturally, Shire's preference would be to join hands with the Illinois pharma, which it began courting just days after it spun off from parent company Baxter ($BAX). The way Shire sees things, combining the two would create a global force in the rare-disease field and bring in $20 billion in sales by 2020.

Baxalta, on the flip side, has said a deal wouldn't "generate substantial operational or revenue synergies" and that it needs time to grow on its own. But as Bloomberg reported last week, the two drugmakers are in talks that include an offer that's, a) higher than the $30 billion Shire put forth over the summer, and b) part cash.

Don't expect Shire to bow down to Baxalta's demands, though, a spokesman for the company told the WSJ. The company is a "highly experienced, patient and disciplined acquirer with a consistent track record of delivering shareholder value."

And it knows plenty about playing the role of target itself. Last year, it put off wannabe buyer AbbVie ($ABBV) multiple times and sang the "flying solo" tune before finally agreeing to a $55 billion merger; AbbVie cancelled that deal a few months later in the wake of stricter U.S. rules on tax inversions.

- read the WSJ story (sub. req.)

Special Report: The 25 most influential people in biopharma in 2015 - Flemming Ornskov - Shire

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