A Month Into Its Life, Baxalta Finds Itself Fending Off Shire

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Barely a month after becoming an independent company, Baxalta – the former biosciences division of Baxter International – faces a battle over its future.

Irish drugmaker Shire said Tuesday that it has made an unsolicited offer to buy the company, based in suburban Chicago, for about $30.6 billion in stock.

In a statement, Shire said it made the takeover proposal on July 10, just 10 days after Baxter completed the spinoff of Baxalta. Shire said it decided to go public with the offer after Baxalta’s CEO declined to engage in any meaningful discussions about a deal.

A Baxalta spokesman wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Shire is the same company AbbVie proposed to acquire last year for $55 billion to help diversify its drug portfolio and lower its U.S. tax bill. AbbVie, also based in suburban Chicago, walked away in light of new U.S. tax rules aimed at making it more difficult for American companies to cut their taxes by shifting their corporate address overseas.

Shire is now pitching its tax structure as a key benefit in a proposed combination with Baxalta, which sells drugs to treat rare bleeding disorders and immune deficiencies. Shire is trying to remake itself into a biotech company after relying on treatments for attention deficit disorder for years.

Under its proposed deal, Baxalta stockholders would receive 0.1687 Shire American depositary shares for each Baxalta share. The offer implies a value on Baxalta of $45.23 per share, a 36 percent premium to the company’s Monday closing price.

In trading Tuesday, Baxalta shares soared $3.95, or 11.9 percent, to $37.10. In aftermarket trading, the shares rose another 56 cents to $37.66.