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US firm AbbVie in bid for Hampshire firm Shire
Updated 8:44am Wednesday 9th July 2014 in Hampshire Business
A Hampshire pharmaceutical company is today at the centre of a £30 billion take over bid.
US firm AbbVie has upped its takeover proposal for Shire to £30 billion.
The approach represents an 11% increase on AbbVie's most recent offer at the end of May and follows talks with some of Shire's biggest shareholders.
Shire, employs about 500 people on Hampshire International Business Park, in Chineham, in Basingstoke, hire employs over 5,000 people in 29 countries across the world.
It is best known for its attention deficit disorder drugs.
The company has so far refused to engage in talks with the Illinois-based company.
Founded in the UK in 1986, Shire is listed on the London Stock Exchange but has its tax base in Dublin and sells most of its products in North America.
AbbVie's pursuit of Shire comes just weeks after UK firm AstraZeneca fought off takeover interest worth £69 billion from US drugs giant Pfizer.
The US firm's third cash and shares proposal at the end of last month valued Shire at 4626p a share, or £27.2 billion. It has now increased this to 5115p, equivalent to just over £30 billion.
Chairman and chief executive Richard Gonzalez urged shareholders to press the Shire board to engage in talks with AbbVie for the first time.
He added: ''AbbVie will bring greater financial strength and research and development experience to this combination that will enable both companies to reach their full potential for their shareholders and patients in need across the globe.
''AbbVie has made a compelling offer to Shire that creates immediate and long-term value to shareholders of both companies.''
AbbVie was formed in January 2013 after it was spun off from Abbott Laboratories. It employs around 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.
Shire's products enable people with life-altering conditions to lead better lives.
It provides treatments in areas such as rare diseases and neuroscience and is developing products in other therapeutic areas. Shire's best selling product is hyperactivity drug Vyvanse, which achieved revenues of 1.2 billion US dollars (£703 million) last year.
AbbVie has until July 18 to confirm whether it intends to make an offer.
The pharmaceuticals sector has seen a raft of deal-making in recent months, with US companies looking to Europe as a way to reduce their tax liabilities.