Exclusive: Allergan approached Shire about takeover but rebuffed - sources
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Allergan Inc approached Shire Plc in recent months about a possible takeover but was rebuffed, according to people familiar with the matter, in the latest example of a U.S. drugmaker seeking to buy an overseas rival to lower its tax rate.
The preliminary approach for Shire, which is based in Ireland and has a market value of $33 billion, did not progress to serious discussions between the two companies, the sources said.
Since then Allergan has received an unsolicited $47 billion takeover offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc teamed up with activist investor Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management.
Analysts have suggested one way for the Botox maker to defend against the unsolicited bid would be to acquire foreign drugmakers such as Shire, Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc or Alkermes Plc.
One of the sources said it was unclear if Allergan would try to revive talks with Shire, or pursue another target as a means to remain independent.
Representatives for Allergan and Shire declined to comment.
Robert Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health says the Affordable Care Act's unpopularity in 12 key states will keep it a central issue in the 2014 elections. Video
NEW YORK - U.S. stocks dipped slightly at the open on Wednesday following weak earnings forecasts from retailers Lowe's and Target, ahead of the release of minutes from the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve.
BEIJING/HONG KONG - China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.