Shire to buy Dyax for $5.9 billion, still wants Baxalta

Mon Nov 2, 2015 12:53pm EST
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By Ben Hirschler

LONDON (Reuters) - Shire Plc (SHP.L: Quote) has agreed to buy U.S. rare disease specialist Dyax Corp DYAX.O for about $5.9 billion - and potentially up to $6.5 billion - while still pursuing a five times larger unsolicited bid for Baxalta Inc BXLT.N.

The Dyax deal, the latest in a series of purchases by the acquisitive Dublin-headquartered company, will give it access to the drug developer's late-stage experimental treatment for a dangerous inflammatory disease that can block breathing.

It comes amid a record wave of deal-making in the broader healthcare sector so far this year, which amounted to $477 billion as of last week, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The offer price of $37.30 per share represents a 35.5 percent premium to Dyax's closing stock price on Friday.

Dyax shareholders will also get a non-tradable contingent value right potentially worth $4.00 a share, or an additional $646 million, if Dyax's DX-2930 drug, which could reach the market in 2018, is approved for hereditary angioedema (HAE).

Shares of the U.S. biotech firm jumped about 29 percent to $35.45 at mid-afternoon on Monday, while Shire's stock in London fell 0.8 percent.

Shire has been locked in a three-month battle to acquire Baxalta, although a drop in its shares has led some investors to suspect that takeover bid - worth $30 billion when it was announced in August - may flounder.

But Shire Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov insisted his group had capacity to do both deals.   Continued...

A sign sits in front of Shire's manufacturing facility in Lexington, Massachusetts July 18, 2014.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder