LONDON (The Deal) -- AbbVie (ABBV) on Tuesday lifted an indicative offer for Irish drugs maker Shire (SHPG) by 11% to about 30.1 billion pounds ($51.5 billion) and hinted that it had broad backing from its target's shareholders for the latest in a string of proposals.
The North Chicago-based bidder said the new proposal is worth 5,115 pence per Shire share and includes 2,244 pence in cash and 0.8568 of an AbbVie share. Its most recent proposal, which it submitted on May 30 and which first came to light on June 20, was worth about 4,626 pence per share.
"AbbVie and its financial adviser have spoken to Shire's shareholders representing a majority of Shire's outstanding shares," the bidder said. "AbbVie believes that the revised proposal reflects a substantial sharing of potential synergies between the shareholders of each company."
The proposal is the fourth in a string of overtures to Dublin-based Shire and reflects AbbVie's aim to redomicile for tax purposes to the U.K. It said the revised proposal would leave Shire shareholders with 24% of the enlarged entity and called on those investors to lobby the target's board ahead of a July 18 Takeover Panel deadline for AbbVie to either formalize its offer or retreat.
"This transaction is a combination of two leading companies with leadership positions in specialty pharmaceuticals that would create a global market leader with unique characteristics and a compelling investment thesis," added AbbVie Chairman and CEO Richard Gonzalez in a statement. "AbbVie will bring greater financial strength and R&D experience to this combination that will enable both companies to reach their full potential for their shareholders and patients in need across the globe."