Shire to set out AstraZeneca-style defence against AbbVie

Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:17am EDT
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* Long-range forecasts for drugs a central plank of defence

* Focus on expanded uses and new drugs coming to market

* $46 bln offer from AbbVie rejected as undervaluing group

* Shire to update investors Monday afternoon

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Shire is to take a leaf out of AstraZeneca's playbook by giving long-range forecasts for its drugs as it seeks to convince shareholders that AbbVie's $46 billion offer undervalues the business.

Flemming Ornskov, Shire's chief executive, will update investors on prospects for key medicines on Monday afternoon, mirroring the approach of disclosing long-range internal forecasts used by fellow London-listed drugmaker AstraZeneca in its successful defence against Pfizer.

The market is already looking for AbbVie to sweeten its offer to win its prize, with analysts at Jefferies estimating it could make the deal pay at a price of up to 55 pounds a share, or $55 billion, against AbbVie's most recent rejected cash-and-shares offer on May 30 of just over 46 pounds.

The two companies confirmed a series of approaches after Reuters revealed the talks last week.   Continued...