FTSEurofirst hits 6 1/2-yr high, takeover offer boosts Shire
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct, hits new 6-1/2-yr high
* Pan-European index heads for 10th straight week of gains
* Shire surges more than 11 pct on takeover approach
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index reached a 6 1/2-year high on Friday as the drugmaker Shire rallied on a takeover offer, putting the index on track for a 10th straight week of gains.
Shire climbed 11.4 percent to 41.65 pounds after AbbVie confirmed it had made an offer to acquire it. Shire's board rejected the offer, saying it fundamentally undervalued the company and its prospects.
AbbVie said its final was worth 46.26 pounds a share, adding talks with Shire have ended. Shire has been seen as a prime takeover target for U.S. drugmakers, thanks to a mid-sized market value and its tax base in Ireland, where effective corporate tax rates are among the lowest in the world.
"M&A is going to be a big theme, especially in the pharma sector, in the second part of the year. A lot of companies have accumulated a lot of cash and are looking for interesting deals," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said.
"The market has paused after a good week as some investors have taken profits, but we are in a bull market," Gijsels said. "It's a good environment for equities as economic outlook is improving and central banks generally have been quite supportive." Continuación...