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NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dear AbbVie Colleagues, Today I am very pleased to announce that the boards of AbbVie and Shire have agreed to combine our two great companies. This is a very significant step that allows us to seek regulatory and shareholder approvals to complete the transaction. The proposed transaction would create a well-positioned and focused biopharmaceutical company, giving us the opportunity to expand and augment our product portfolio, advance our pipeline, accelerate our growth, and create long-term value for our shareholders. The companies have complementary strategies, both focused on creating leadership positions within areas of high unmet medical need. Both businesses have complementary areas of strength, rather than overlap. Shire would add new growth platforms in neuroscience and rare diseases. The current combined workforce of AbbVie and Shire is approximately 30,000 employees and the combined market cap is approximately $137 billion as of today. You can read more details on abbvie.com. I will outline the compelling strategic and scientific rationale behind the combination during an All-Employee meeting on July 25. (Details will follow for that live meeting in Lake County, which will also be available for replay on Our AbbVie for those outside of Lake County.) I encourage you to watch that to learn why this transaction makes good business sense for both companies, for our shareholders and for the patients we seek to serve. Best regards, Rick About AbbVie AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in January 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs approximately 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. AbbVie is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under "ABBV". Additional information is available on the company's website at www.abbvieinvestor.com. The directors of AbbVie accept responsibility for the information contained in this document and, to the best of their knowledge and belief (having taken all reasonable care to ensure that such is the case), the information contained in this document is in accordance with the facts and it does not omit anything likely to affect the import of such information.