AbbVie CEO says tax is not primary reason for buying Shire

LONDON, July 18 Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:47am EDT

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Pharmaceutical firm AbbVie's chairman and chief executive said tax benefits were not the main reason it bought London-listed Shire.

Richard Gonzalez told analysts on a conference call on Friday that tax was "clearly a benefit", but it was not the primary rationale behind the $55 billion deal, adding that the tie-up had compelling financial and strategic attractions.

AbbVie will cut its tax level to about 13 percent after it re-domiciles in Britain following the deal. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Pravin Char)