Shire in $4.2bn drug group takeover
London-listed drugs group Shire has boosted its rare-disease portfolio with the $4.2bn (€3.1bn) acquisition of US group ViroPharma.
Shire is paying $50 per share in cash for the group, a 27pc premium to ViroPharma's closing price last Friday. The company has been tipped as a suitor for the US company, along with French rival Sanofi, since September.
Biopharmaceutical group ViroPharma manufactures Cinryze, the leading preventive treatment for rare genetic disease hereditary angioedema that causes sudden life-threatening attacks of swelling in bodily parts.
Shire already makes a treatment for the disease, Firazyr, which can be injected at the time of an attack.
Shire said that the deal will produce annual cost synergies of approximately $150m by 2015. Shares in Shire lifted by 1.65pc in morning trading yesterday on the back of the announcement.
The acquisition follows new chief executive Flemming Ornskov's new 'One Shire' initiative to simplify the business to reduce overlap in research and development and commercial operations.
It has been reported that UK research scientists at the group's Basingstoke site could face substantial job cuts.
Mr Ornskov said: "The acquisition of ViroPharma will immediately benefit Shire and is entirely consistent with our clear strategic objective of strengthening our rare disease portfolio. It brings us a new growth-driving product which augments our already strong growth prospects." (© Daily Telegraph, London)