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Biotechs Giving Uncle Sam the Shaft

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As they say in real estate: location, location, location.

Biotechs have been acquiring companies in large part for their address. Specifically, they're buying so they can move to places like Ireland, where taxes are substantially lower than in the U.S.

This month Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ: HZNP  ) bought privately held Vidara Therapeutics in a $600 million stock and cash deal. Last year, Actavis (NYSE: AGN  ) bought Warner Chilcott for $5 billion in an all-stock deal. Elan managed to use its address to attract two companies to its Irish homeland. Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS  ) bought Elan's drug delivery segment, while Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO  ) bought the rest, which included royalties from the sales of Biogen Idec's Tysabri, which it helped develop.

In the following video, Fool contributor Brian Orelli and health-care bureau chief Max Macaluso discuss the strategy and highlight a couple of potential takeout targets, including Alkermes and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JAZZ  ) .

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Brian Orelli

Dr. Orelli is a Senior Biotech Specialist. He has written about biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies for The Motley Fool since 2007.

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