Shire Rises After Analyst Predicts Allergan Takeover

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Irish drug maker Shire (SHPG) are climbing after an analyst at SunTrust predicted that Allergan (AGN) would soon look to buy the Irish company.

WHAT'S NEW: A bid for Shire by Allergan is imminent, wrote SunTrust analyst John Boris in a note to investors earlier today. An acquisition of Shire would be more advantageous for Allergan shareholders than the proposed hostile takeover of the company by Valeant (VRX), Boris contended. An acquisition of Shire would boost Allergan's stock more than a Valeant deal, and would enable Allergan's shareholders to avoid the risk of holding Valeant's stock, the analyst stated. Following an acquisition of Shire by Allergan, the combined company would have sustainable, transparent revenue growth of about 10%, a diversified sales mix, high value research and development programs and a tax inversion, the analyst believes. Additionally, the transaction would boost Allergan's profit by 50% in its first year and would enable its profit growth to accelerate significantly, according to Boris. He kept a $200 price target and Buy rating on Shire shares.

ALSO TODAY: Valeant announced that it has commenced an exchange offer for Allergan, taking its buyout proposal directly to stockholders. Under the terms of the offer, Allergan stockholders would be able to elect to exchange each of their Allergan shares for $72 in cash and 0.83 Valeant common shares, or an amount of cash, or a number of Valeant common shares, in each case subject to proration. The offer is scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on August 15.

WHAT'S NOTABLE: On June 16, Reuters reported that Shire had hired Citigroup (C) as an adviser to prepare for takeover bids. Bankers believe that Shire could be an attractive takeover target for Bristol Myers (BMY), Abbvie (ABBV), Gilead (GILD), Biogen (BIIB) or Amgen (AMGN), the news service reported.

PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Shire is up 4%, or $6.61, to $193.77 while Allergan is up 1%, or $1.27, to $161.80. Valeant is little changed at $118.90.

Reporting by Larry Ramer.

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