Shire surge pushes FTSE towards record peak

Reuters - UK Focus

* FTSE 100 up 0.3 percent

* Shire (LSE: SHP.L - news) jumps after rejecting bid valuing it at $46 bln

* TSB shares up about 14 pct on London stock market debut

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - British drugmaker Shire (Dusseldorf: S7E.DU - news)surged on Friday after rebuffing a takeover offer and helpedprop up the FTSE 100, which traders bet will inch furthertowards its record high in coming days.

Shire jumped 13.1 percent to a record high afterrejecting a bid from AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV - news) which would have valuedthe group at around 27 billion pounds ($46 billion), the U.S.firm said.

"In my opinion, the move higher in early trade confirms thegrowth potential for Shire is huge: as such I could see thestock stretching to at least 50 pounds," Jordan Hiscott, seniortrader at ayondo markets, said. That would hoist the stock some18 percent above current levels.

With its tax base in Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news) , where effective corporate taxrates are among the lowest in the world, Shire, with a mid-sizedmarket value, has been seen as a prime takeover target for U.S.drugmakers.

Panmure Gordon, which described Shire's rare diseasesbusiness as "one of the hottest assets in biopharmaceuticals",said it was no surprise to see Abbvie's approach rejected, withthe broker calling its offer "barely adequate".

"Abbvie may be able to increase its offer to more than 50pounds, which we believe will be required to make this dealhappen", the broker said, but added that would depend oncircumstances regarding the possible benefits of tax inversion.

Panmure increased its price target for Shire to 4,626 pence- in line with AbbVie's latest offer - and re-iterated its "buy"recommendation on the stock.

Shire accounted for half of the FTSE 100's 18.69point gain, or 0.3 percent, to 6,826.80 by 0757 GMT. The indexrose 0.4 percent on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reservereassured investors on monetary policy.

Traders remained bullish on the index, which is sittingwithin reach of a record high 6,950.60 set in 1999.

"I think the FTSE is a buy at these levels," said Mark Ward,Sanlam Securities' head of trading, who expected the FTSE to hit6,900 in the coming days.

In an otherwise quiet day, shares in TSB Banking Group Plcwere trading at 296.1 pence in early trading following its stockmarket debut, up nearly 14 percent on the 260 pence price setfor its initial public offering. ($1 = 0.5864 British pounds) (Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Susan Fenton)

View Comments (0)