AbbVie CEO not ruling out hostile move on Shire

LONDON, June 25 Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:59am EDT

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker AbbVie declined to rule out a hostile bid for Shire on Wednesday but said it was pushing hard for the London-listed drugmaker to engage in talks, after its $46 billion takeover approach was rejected.

Questioned by analysts if he might make a hostile bid, Chief Executive Richard Gonzalez said on conference call: "We're not willing to restrict our legal options here." He declined to comment on what approach AbbVie might take if it went down a hostile path.

Gonzalez stressed he wanted to engage with Shire's management to better understand its upbeat drug sales forecasts, adding he also planned to meet with Shire shareholders. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Kate Holton)

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