Shire shares spike as AbbVie ups its offer

US pharmaceuticals giant AbbVie has raised its bid for Irish-domiciled Shire to £51.15 per share, causing the company’s share price to rocket, it was revealed today.

In a deal reminiscent of Pfizer’s failed AstraZeneca bid, it’s thought that the takeover would allow the US buyer to take advantage of attractive tax benefits and cost savings. The purchase would mean that at least 20% of the newly combined company’s shareholders would be non-US, opening up opportunities for tax inversion. With experts at Jefferies suggesting that that there is little product or portfolio-based rationale for the merger, many see this as a likely next step should the bid be accepted.

Last month, AbbVie made a series of offers to Shire, starting at £39.50 per share, but all were rejected. The latest bid marks another significant jump from the last offer, of £46.26 per share. Shire’s share price leapt following today’s announcement, peaking at £49.25 earlier today.