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Shire plc's New Chief Said to Eye Two to Three Acquisitions



2/20/2013 11:38:52 AM

Shire Plc is considering an acquisition that investors would look favorably on, Chief Executive Officer-designate Flemming Ornskov told analysts, according to two people who were at the meeting. Shire is working on two to three deals that are in advanced talks, Ornskov said, according to one of the people who attended an event the drugmaker held for analysts last night at the South Place Hotel in London. When pressed, the new CEO said a transaction probably won’t be announced this year, this person said. The gathering is part of an effort by Ornskov, who takes over from Angus Russell as CEO on April 30, to get to know analysts and sales people who follow Dublin-based Shire. Ornskov said Shire aims for double-digit sales growth over the longer term and is willing to expand into other businesses to achieve that, said the second person. The people asked not to be identified because the event, which about 25 people attended, was private. Shire, which has management offices in Basingstoke, England, rose 0.6 percent to 2,085 pence in London, giving the company a market value of 11.6 billion pounds ($17.8 billion). The stock has declined 7 percent in the past year, including reinvested dividends, compared with a 23 percent advance in the Bloomberg Europe Pharmaceutical Index. Transformational Deals: Ornskov spoke of one of the potential deals being transformational, one of the people said, while the other said he indicated that transformational deals are still on the agenda. Ornskov said at the meeting that none of the deals would be transformational, and those who heard his comment may have misunderstood it, said Ben Atwell, a spokesman for Shire. Drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder accounted for 38 percent of Shire’s sales last year, while medicines for rare genetic diseases contributed 31 percent.

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