UK pharma shares lead European bourses lower with Shire bid in jeopardy

LONDON: European shares fell on Wednesday, weighed down by UK healthcare stocks after U.S. suitor AbbVie Inc said it would reconsider its bid for UK pharmaceutical firm Shire.

Shares in Shire fell nearly 30 percent in early deals after AbbVie said it intended to reconsider its recommendation to shareholders to vote in favor of the 32 billion pound ($54.7 billion) merger with Shire Plc due to the changing U.S. tax regulations.

Other UK healthcare stocks such as AstraZeneca, which turned down a Pfizer approach earlier this year, also fell as the chances of a bid from U.S. suitors were seen as diminishing.

At 0713 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.5 percent at 1,287.35 points, with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.8 percent.

Source: APP