Shire confirms in talks with AbbVie on takeover bid

July 11 Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:25pm EDT

July 11 (Reuters) - Shire Plc on Friday confirmed it has held a meeting with U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc to discuss AbbVie's takeover bid for the Dublin-based maker of drugs for rare diseases.

Shire, in a release, did not provide any additional information about the meeting, saying it would provide a further update "when appropriate." It added there can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made nor as to the terms of any such offer.

AbbVie, which is based in suburban Chicago and makes top-selling arthritis drug Humira and other medicines, has offered $51 billion for Shire, hoping the deal would cut its tax bill and diversify its product line.

But Shire has rejected three previous proposals from AbbVie, saying they had fundamentally undervalued the company.

Some top investors in Shire have been urging it to engage with AbbVie, after a prolonged silence from the London-listed drugmaker. (Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)