Baxalta Climbs After Report That Shire Is in Talks to Buy It

  • Shares up as much as 4 percent amid declines in global markets
  • Bloomberg News reported advanced discussions on Saturday

Baxalta Inc. jumped to a 4 1/2 month-high after Bloomberg News reported that Shire Plc is in advanced talks to acquire the drugmaker.

Baxalta was up 2.5 percent to $40.02 as of 10:07 a.m. in New York amid a global rout in the markets. Shire may announce a deal as soon as this week, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter. The price being discussed is $46.50 to $48 a share, two of the people said, for a deal of about $32 billion in cash and stock, excluding debt. Final details of the transaction are under negotiation and the timing and structure of any offer may change, they said.

Albert Liao, a Baxalta spokesman, and Michele Galen, a spokeswoman for Shire, declined to comment. Shire, based in Dublin, fell 4.7 percent to 4,478 pence in London.

Baxalta may not be able to get a bid much above $48 a share from Shire or anyone else, according to Sam Fazeli, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

In July, Baxalta rebuffed an unsolicited $30 billion all-stock bid from Shire that valued the company at $45.23 a share. The company has been seeking a higher offer that includes cash, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Separately, Baxalta announced a deal Monday to pay Symphogen A/S of Denmark as much as $1.6 billion for the rights to develop and sell a handful of experimental cancer products that work by harnessing the power of a patient’s immune system. Closely-held Symphogen will fund getting the treatments through the first stage of clinical tests and get a $175 million upfront payment from Baxalta, the companies said in a statement.

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