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Pfizer Failure Gives AbbVie Lessons in Pursuit of Shire

AbbVie Inc., in its pursuit of drugmaker Shire Plc, has hired some of the same advisers that Pfizer Inc. worked with in its failed push for AstraZeneca Plc. They’re trying to learn from the experience.

Richard Gonzalez, AbbVie’s chief executive officer, yesterday made clear that a hostile bid is an option for his company, a move Pfizer ruled out. AbbVie’s effort also differs in that it’s appealing directly to Shire shareholders early, offering what it calls a significant premium to win their support to pressure its board or prepare the ground for a hostile offer, according to people familiar with the matter.