Shire Completes Takeover of Drugmaker Baxalta

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) —

Shire completed its $32 billion purchase of Baxalta Friday, creating a global leader in drugs that treat hemophilia and other rare diseases.

Shire, headquartered in Ireland, expects the acquisition to double its annual revenues to $20 billion by 2020, with 65 percent of the total being generated by rare disease products.

Shire’s news release didn’t address the future of Baxalta’s 17,000 employees, including approximately 800 employees at the suburban Chicago headquarters. Shire’s U.S. headquarters will remain outside of Boston.

“We’re confident Shire will continue to maintain a presence in Northern Illinois,” said Baxalta spokesman Geoffrey Mogilner.

Shire, though, has made some of its intentions public. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov said the company plans to expand Baxalta’s 400-person research center in the Boston area.

Baxalta was formed last summer when Baxter, also located in suburban Chicago, spun off its biosciences division. A day after Baxalta became an independent company on July 1, Ornskov left a message for his counterpart at Baxalta. That contact began a six-month negotiation in which Shire made five offers for Baxalta, culminating in a deal announced Jan. 11.

Baxalta CEO Ludwig Hantson is leaving the company with a severance package worth $45 million in cash and stock.

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