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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

REFILE--AbbVie CEO Gonzalez loses Shire, but wins praise for gutsy move, (NYSE: ABT)

AbbVie Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez for three months led the charge to purchase Dublin drugmaker Shire for $55 billion, only to walk away from the deal last week, but analysts and fund managers said he deserves credit for trying and should remain at the helm of the Chicago drugmaker.The merger could have been a defining triumph for Gonzalez, a quiet and low-profile manager who has been building an ambitious lineup of experimental drugs since his company was spun off in early 2013 from Abbott Laboratories. During his decades at Abbott, Gonzalez seldom emerged from the shadow of blustery Chief Executive Miles White, and the Shire deal gave him a rare burst of limelight.Investors were given no advance warning on Thursday, when AbbVie recommended that its shareholders reject the Shire transaction, and it agreed to pay Shire a $1.64 billion breakup fee."This came as a complete surprise both to investors and to Shire and they have a legitimate gripe about how AbbVie handled the communication," said Sanford Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal. Although it could take AbbVie a long time to regain investor trust, Gal predicted investors will not hold Gonzalez, 60, personally responsible for the collapsed Shire deal because circumstances changed in recent weeks.

Abbott Laboratories (Abbott) is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of a portfolio of science-based health care products. Shares of ABT traded higher by 1.28% or $0.53/share to $41.99. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $35.65 and as high as $44.20. On average, 4635350 shares of ABT exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1125515.