Dublin-headquartered pharma firm Shire to sell its oncology business for $2.4bn
Drugmaker Shire has agreed to sell its oncology business to Servier for $2.4bn.
The firm, which has its headquarters in Dublin, started looking at offloading the oncology business in December, and said the process considered "multiple potential strategic buyers" across Europe, Japan and the US
Shire chief executive Flemming Ornskov said: "This transaction is a key milestone for Shire, demonstrating the clear value embedded in our portfolio. While the oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, we have concluded that it is not core to Shire's longer-term strategy.
"We will continue to evaluate our portfolio for opportunities to unlock further value and sharpen our focus on rare disease leadership with selective disposals of non-strategic assets.
"The proceeds from the transaction increase optionality and Shire's Board will consider returning the proceeds of the sale to shareholders through a shareholder-approved share buyback after the current offer period regarding Takeda's possible offer for Shire concludes."
The pharma company last year announced an additional 150 jobs at its Dublin office.
Servier Group president Olivier Laureau said: "The acquisition of Shire's oncology franchise enables Servier to meet its strategic ambitions to become a global key player in oncology.
"As an essential step in the evolution of the Group, this acquisition allows us to establish a direct commercial presence in the United States, the world's leading pharmaceuticals market, and to strengthen our portfolio of marketed products in the territories where Servier is already present.
"Our goal is to bring these treatments to greater numbers of cancer patients around the world. We thoroughly look forward to welcoming Shire's oncology teams who will join Servier after the closing."
Shire's board of directors started looking at offloading the oncology business in December, and said that the process considered "multiple potential strategic buyers" across Europe, Japan and the US.
The deal with Servier, which is headquartered in France, is expected to close in the second or third quarter of this year.
Shire's London-listed shares were up as much as 1.8pc at the start of trading.