Shire’s Merger Machine Stumbles on Baxalta Bid


Shire’s merger machine has taken a gentle knock. Shire, the onetime Irish target for AbbVie, is planning a mega-deal of its own. Unlike the previous combination, Shire’s $30 billion lunge for Baxalta carries a fair slug of industrial logic, as well as tax benefits. Its shareholders, though, still need some persuading.

A Shire/Baxalta combo is as about as different from Shire/AbbVie as possible. That aborted deal was predicated on having the American acquirer shift its tax base away from the United States. Shire’s chief executive, Dr. Flemming Ornskov, is also counting on exploiting Shire’s Irish tax base. But his goal is to turn Shire from a company once known for peddling attention deficit disorder drugs to the world’s leader in rare-disease drugs, which treat a small number of patients and command high prices…

Shire’s Merger Machine Stumbles on Baxalta Bid

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