The long way to Tipperary just keeps getting shorter and shorter. Endo Health Solutions ( ENDP) became the latest American company to relocate its headquarters to Ireland this Tuesday when it announced its grand plan to acquire Canada's Paladin Labs for $1.6 billion in stock, cash and shares of a newly formed spinoff. As part of the deal, both Endo and Paladin will formally be acquired by a new holding company called New Endo, which will be domiciled in Ireland and therefore will be subject to lower tax rates. Shares of old Endo spiked 20% on the news. Montreal-based Paladin is a marketer of more than 60 drugs that treat ADHD, pain, urology issues and allergies. Malvern, Pa.-based Endo's maneuver bolsters its pipeline and gives it a strong platform in Canada to help offset sales pressure on its core painkiller drugs from generic competition. Endo's pronouncement dulled the pain of its third-quarter results, which saw net income fall 25% as a result of charges related to product liability claims and business impairment charges. Leerink Swann's analysts estimate the tax and operational synergies of the deal will lead to $75 million in savings for the combined company. You read it right folks. It's simple mix of math and geography. Malvern plus Montreal equals Ireland. Or at least it does when business is bad and you need the tax breaks. Endo's relocation to the Emerald Isle follows similar moves by fellow medicine-makers Perrigo and Actavis. Perrigo's end around this summer with its Elan acquisition reduced its effective tax rate to 17% from 23% and is expected to save it $150 million in annual tax and expense savings. Actavis made the move when it bought Warner Chilcott and as a result will see its rate drop to 17% from 28%. And it's not just pill purveyors re-domiciling in Dublin. Cleveland-based industrial giant Eaton ( ETN) did the same thing when it bought Cooper Industries last year. And tech giant Apple ( AAPL) has taken heat on Capitol Hill for stashing billions of its profits offshore in Ireland. You know the old adage that everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's day? Well, if Uncle Sam doesn't lower America's tax rates or close some loopholes pretty soon then every day is going to be St. Patrick's day for corporate America. Hmmm. Upon further thought. That does sound like a lot of fun. At least until the hangover hits.
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