Shire to make renewed bid for Baxalta merger: report

According to a source with knowledge of the matter, Shire is preparing a new buyout offer for Baxalta, after having confirmed in August that its unsolicited $30-billion proposal for the Baxter spinoff had been privately rejected. The source reportedly indicated that the latest bid could be structured in cash and shares, but cautioned that no deal was certain and negotiations could still fail. Shares in Baxalta gained as much as 12 percent on the news.

The person noted that Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov has been pursuing a takeover of Baxalta for the last six months, adding "he's never given up." Meanwhile, Ornskov has said Shire's recent agreement to acquire Dyax for as much as $6.5 billion would not prevent the drugmaker from pursuing other acquisitions.

Last month, Shire stated that it remained committed to completing an acquisition of Baxalta even though the latter had dismissed its all-stock takeover offer as undervaluing the company. People familiar with the matter previously indicated that Shire was considering options to enhance its bid, including measures to return cash to shareholders sooner.

A prior report suggested that Baxalta shareholders might be open to holding merger negotiations with Shire if its offer were improved. Meanwhile, people close to the situation disclosed that Baxalta had entered into talks to acquire Ariad Pharmaceuticals in an effort to avert a possible Shire takeover, but sources said negotiations have since collapsed over price.

For related analysis, see Spotlight On: Shire's revenue cliff may make M&A inevitable – but if not Baxalta, then who?

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