Dublin-based drug maker Shire said to value Baxalta at $32bn

Baxalta jumped to a four-and-a-half-month high yesterday on reports that rival drug maker Shire — the US firm formally based in Ireland — is in advanced talks to acquire it.

Baxalta was up 2.5% in New York at one stage even amid a global rout in the markets. Shire may announce a deal as soon as this week, Bloomberg News reported over the weekend, citing people familiar with the matter.

Reuters had reported before Christmas Shire had made a new acquisition offer for peer Baxalta that is roughly in line with the latter’s valuation expectations, making a deal in the coming weeks likely.

The new price being discussed is $46.50-$48 a share for a deal of about $32bn (€29.4bn) in cash and stock, excluding debt.

Final details of the transaction are under negotiation and the timing and structure of any offer may change, they said. Shire fell 4.7% in London trade.

Baxalta may not be able to get a bid much above $48 a share from Shire or anyone else, according to Sam Fazeli, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

In July, Baxalta rebuffed an unsolicited $30bn all-stock bid from Shire that valued the company at $45.23 a share.

The company has been seeking a higher offer that includes cash, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Separately, Baxalta announced a deal yesterday to pay Symphogen of Denmark as much as $1.6bn for the rights to develop and sell a handful of experimental cancer products that work by harnessing the power of a patient’s immune system.

Closely-held Symphogen will fund getting the treatments through the first stage of clinical tests and get a $175m upfront payment from Baxalta.


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