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Biotechs Giving Uncle Sam the Shaft

By Brian Orelli, PhD – Mar 31, 2014 at 6:08PM

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Horizon Pharma, Actavis, Alkermes, and Perrigo have all purchased companies in part to move out of the U.S. and lower their tax rates. The strategy could make companies such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals a takeout target.

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 (HZNP -0.47%) bought privately held Vidara Therapeutics in a $600 million stock and cash deal. Last year, Actavis (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 (ALKS -2.44%) bought Elan's drug delivery segment, while Perrigo (PRGO -2.58%) 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 (JAZZ -1.52%).

Brian Orelli, Max Macaluso, and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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