Shire may look to bulk up with $2B Cubist deal

The talk on the street about a potential Cubist buyout won't quit. For the second time in a week, traders have pointed to Shire as a suitor for the U.S.-based company, which makes the infection fighter Cubicin. Word is that Shire delivered a tentative offer of $44.50 per share last month, and the two companies have since been talking about a deal. That bid, incidentally, would put Shire's offer at $2 billion.

Of course Shire is fresh off its $750 million deal to buy Advanced BioHealing, but some market-watchers figure another sizable buyout would be just the ticket. The company has long been fingered as a takeover target itself, and expanding through acquisition might help keep potential hostile bidders at bay, the Telegraph reports. The rumors about a Cubist buy are pervasive enough that Revere Data is already hawking a report assessing the potential combo.

But while Shire may well be talking with Cubist, it may not be a private conversation. Other companies have been rumored as possible suitors for Cubist, including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which recently settled its Cubicin patent dispute. And as the Telegraph reports, Morgan Stanley is said to be advising Cubist on takeover offers.

- see the Telegraph story
- get the Philadelphia Business Journal piece