AbbVie Reconsiders $51B Shire Deal Because of Tax Rule Changes

Oct. 15, 2014

According to a Bloomberg report, AbbVie Inc. is reconsidering its $51.5 billion acquisition of Shire "in what would be the biggest casualty of the U.S. crackdown on so-called tax inversions."

Shire’s stock declined the most in 12 years after AbbVie said its board will meet by Oct. 20 to reconsider its recommendation that shareholders approve the deal, the article said. The U.S. company cited changes to tax regulations announced Sept. 22 by the U.S. Treasury Department. AbbVie expected to lower its tax burden by buying Shire and moving its legal address to the U.K. The deal should proceed, Shire said in a separate statement.

AbbVie’s board will consider the impact of the tax changes on “the fundamental financial benefits of the transaction,” the company said in its statement. AbbVie also would gain Shire’s treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to diversify its drug portfolio. Read the Bloomberg article