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Shire selling oncology unit to France’s Servier for $2.4bn

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Shares jumped in morning trading

Ireland-based biotech Shire is selling its oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for $2.4bn.

The London-listed rare diseases specialist announced today that it would consider returning proceeds from the sale to shareholders through a buyback and that further selective disposals of non-strategic assets were possible.

“While the oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, we have concluded that it is not core to Shire’s longer-term strategy,” Flemming Ornskov, Shire’s chief executive told media

“We will continue to evaluate our portfolio for opportunities to unlock further value and sharpen our focus on rare disease leadership with selective disposals of non-strategic assets.”

This development, however, complicates a prospective takeover by Japan’s Takeda. Under UK takeover rules, Takeda has until April 25 to announce whether or not it will bid for Shire, which has a market value of around $47bn.



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