Rare disease drug-maker Shire (SMP) improves 1% to £45.93 as newspaper reports speculate that the group's shareholders are being wooed by Nasdaq-listed suitor AbbVie (ABBV:NDQ) to force management to the negotiating table.

The US pharmaceutical’s chief executive officer (CEO) Richard Gonzalez is believed to have held an unofficial roadshow in London this week to increase pressure on the board.

The UK niche drug company rejected three bids from AbbVie, with the last, £46.26 a share, valuing the business at £27 billion. The bid was rebuffed as undervaluing Shire’s prospects, as previously reported by Shares.

Web - Shire - 3 July 2014

AbbVie says it can increase the value of Dublin-based Shire’s treatments. Analysts at investment bank Jeffries do not agree. ‘In the recent M&A environment there appears to be no dispute amongst the investment community that AbbVie’s interest in Shire looks to be primarily driven by financial engineering (tax inversion). We see limited synergies between the two companies and limited cost saving potential as a result.’

Under takeover rules, the US firm has until July 18 to make another bid or walk away.

Issue Date: 03 Jul 2014