- New anti-tax inversion rules proposed by the Obama administration in September scuttled a hotly-anticipated $55 billion deal between AbbVie and Shire. AbbVie has to pay Shire a $1.63 billion severance fee for backing out of the deal.
- But Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov remains undaunted. In fact, he's pushing a goal of achieving $10 billion in annual sales by 2020, through acquisitions, portfolio diversification, and a focus on rare diseases.
- Ornskov considers companies like Gilead, Celgene, and Biogen Idec as Shire's corporate peers .
Flemming Ornskov is far from deflated following the scuttled merger with AbbVie. In fact, he is making a strong case for Shire's independence and its ambitious "10-by-20" sales goal.
As the company diversifies away from its long-time focus on ADD, it is beginning to focus on biotech and rare diseases. Shire's $4.2 billion acquisition of ViroPharma in January added Cinryze, a drug used to prevent attacks of facial swelling, to its porfolop. Shire is also heavily investing in other developmental opportunities, including recent deals with Lumena, Fibrotech, and Bikam, in the ophthalmic area.