Shire Pharmaceuticals's Best Takeover Defense Is Deal Offense

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With drugmakers pursuing deals like never before, Shire Plc (SHP)’s best defense against becoming a target may be to go on the hunt itself. Reports last week that Shire is weighing a bid for NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NPSP) have pushed that company’s shares up 20 percent. While NPS said it hasn’t held talks with Shire about a deal, Piper Jaffray Cos. said Shire needs to make purchases if it wants to keep from being gobbled up amid the record $139 billion in pharmaceutical deals that were announced so far this quarter.

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