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AbbVie’s Threat on Shire Deal Is Latest Tax Rule Fallout

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AbbVie Inc. may scrap its planned 32.4-billion-pound ($51.5 billion) deal for Dublin-based drugmaker Shire Plc, in what would be the biggest casualty of the U.S. crackdown on so-called tax inversions.

Shire stock plunged the most in 12 years after North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie said its board will meet by Oct. 20 to reconsider its recommendation that shareholders approve the deal. Shares of companies that are speculated to be or are involved in pursuing tax inversion deals, including AstraZeneca Plc, Actavis Plc and Covidien Plc, fell as investors reassessed the likelihood of the transactions.