Shire rejects AbbVie's $46.5 billion takeover proposal

Drugmaker Shire, Plc., which is based in Ireland but has operations in Exton and Wayne, said Friday that its board has rejected a $46.5 billion takeover offer from AbbVie.

AbbVie, like some other pharmaceutical companies, is looking for a takeover target that would allow it to shift its official residence to Ireland, which has a lower corporate tax rate than the United States.

AbbVie is the drug portion of the recently-separated company that used to be Abbott Laboratories, and its headquarters is in North Chicago, Ill.

Shire said in a statement that the cash-and-stock offer arrived May 30 and was rejected by the board of directors because it was "highly conditional" and undervalued Shire's value.

AbbVie said in a statement that it made three offers to Shire and, though talks have stopped for now, might make a fourth offer in the future.

Nearly 41 percent of Shire's revenue comes from three drugs approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, led by Vyvanse.

Shire advised shareholders to take no action.

Susan Kilsby, chairman of Shire's board, said in a statement, “Shire has a long track record of delivering for shareholders and addressing unmet patient needs. Our high-performing management team and focused strategy are producing even stronger results, reflected in our recent top-line growth and increased profitability. With an expanded portfolio focused on high-growth opportunities, an efficient cost base and an enhanced innovative pipeline, we have put in place a platform for long-term value creation. We believe that Shire has a strong independent future. The Board believes the Proposal fundamentally undervalued Shire and its prospects and that as an independent company Shire’s focused growth strategy will continue to deliver significant shareholder value and patient benefits.”