Shire's Board succumbs to AbbVie's $53bn bid

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

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Shire's Board succumbs to AbbVie's $53bn bid
The acquisition of Shire for £31bn ($53bn) has moved a step closer but reliance on third party suppliers would only add two facilities to AbbVie's biomanufacturing network.

Shire has already turned down numerous offers​ from AbbVie but the company issued a statement Monday indicating it would accept a firm offer of £31bn before the end of Friday when UK M&A rules would stop AbbVie making another bid for six months.

“The Board of Shire has indicated to AbbVie that it would be willing to recommend an offer at the level of the Revised Proposal to Shire shareholders subject to satisfactory resolution of the other terms of the offer,”​ the firm said, adding it is “in detailed discussions with AbbVie in relation to these terms.”

Andrew Lorenz, an advisor from FTI Consulting, told AbbVie would have to declare due diligence by Friday, before details of any network changes and integration will be known.

The successful bid would, however, see AbbVie – who manufactures the blockbuster monoclonal antibody rheumatology drug Humira – become resident in the UK, and according to the firm’s proposition, place the firm under “a competitive tax structure.”

Despite this, in a letter to its employees dated June 25 AbbVie said its operational headquarters would remain in Lake County, Illinois, and “there will be no impact on jobs at AbbVie”​ at that site.

Manufacturing network

The addition of Shire would bring “immediate broader geographic penetration and scale,”​ the firm has said, but Shire's heavy reliance on contract manufacturers would only add two facilities to AbbVie's global network consisting of five principle manufacturing sites in the US and four in Europe.

Shire received US FDA approval for a second Massachusetts facility to manufacture the drug VPRIV – a human cell line derived enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of Type 1 Gaucher disease – earlier this year, which runs entirely on single-use technology.

Furthermore, ViroPharma, acquired by Shire in January, uses a virtual supply manufacturing and distribution chain for all of its products,” ​and thus has no manufacturing facilities. Its lead product Cinryz - a human C1 inhibitor derived from human plasma – is manufactured by Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation in The Netherlands.

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