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(Reuters) - British pharmaceutical company Shire Plc (SHP.L) has taken initial steps towards a bid for U.S. bowel drugmaker Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc SLXP.O and is working with advisers on a potential offer, according to people familiar with the matter.
Shire is evaluating how to secure financing for a Salix bid, one of the sources said. The sources cautioned that Shire may still decide against a bid given the deal's complexity. Salix is considering its options in the midst of a management shakeup and inventory issues, sources previously told Reuters.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO) has also been exploring an offer for Salix, the people added. It is not clear whether other companies are also preparing bids for Salix.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Salix, Shire and Valeant declined to comment.
Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr