Shire’s new CEO apprentice has closed on his first buyout deal for the company. Flemming Ornskov took the lead this morning in announcing that Shire ($SHPG) has snapped up the Swedish biotech Premacure AB in a deal that will add a near late-stage, rare disease program to the company’s bustling Human Genetic Therapies group in Lexington, MA.
Shire, which has been widely lauded for its ability to use new acquisitions to effectively diversify its business around the globe, will use the deal to jump into a new therapeutic area–neonatology. But the company–which frequently is featured as a likely takeover target itself–is keeping the terms on the upfront and milestones involved close to the vest. Despite the hush-hush stance on the numbers, the deal does help clarify Shire’s growth strategy at a time of major top-level changes. Ornskov is poised to take over the CEO’s job from Angus Russell, a move that was quickly followed by the news that Shire HGT chief Sylvie Gregoire is leaving the company at the end of this month. Bloomberg recently managed to stir considerable interest–and confusion–with the garbled translation of some impromptu remarks Ornskov recently made to analysts in London about some takeover talks the company was engaged in. Depending on who was listening, Ornskov either highlighted a transformational deal in the works or specifically ruled it out, while highlighting two or three advanced deal talks.