Swiss biotechnology group Serono is gearing up its $10bn (�5.5bn) acquisition drive, which could include a tilt at pharmaceutical giant Shire.
"Management has a clear, renewed sense of urgency to do a deal," said ABN Amro fund manager Arnoud Diemers, who recently spoke with management. Investors have been pressing the company to deliver on the pledge it made in April to hit the acquisition trail after it failed to sell itself.
Speculation has begun to centre on a select group of targets, of which Shire is the largest. "Shire would be the best fit," said one banker.
Serono, which is run by Ern-esto Bertarelli, Switzerland's richest man, was outbid by Shire in 2004 for Transkaryotic Therapies. An attempt to acquire Shire would probably be motivated, sources said, by the idea of getting access to Transkaryotic products.
Investors approved a measure in April to allow Serono to raise a $5.6bn war-chest, on top of its cash pile and credit lines, to fund purchases. Shire has a �3.7bn market value. ______________________________________________
Personally I would have thought that this is total nonsense. Who would buy Shire now when there are so many outstanding issues??
They might feel that Shire has a good pipeline now that they own Transkaryotic Therapies. The article said that Serono was outbid by Shire for Transkaryotic Therapies and since Shire looks like it will continue to have a very strong presence in the ADHD market they might feel that buying Shire would be a good fit. I will be very curious to see if the price of Shire Stock goes up on Monday. It would be super to see it run back up to $48-50.