The deal -- the latest example of a big drugmaker swooping on a biotech firm to refill its medicine pipeline -- confounds expectations that Pharmacyclics would sell out to Johnson & Johnson . AbbVie will pay $261.25 per share in cash and stock, a 13 percent premium to Pharmacyclics stock's closing price on Wednesday. AbbVie failed last October to buy Dublin-based Shire Plc for $55 billion after the United States took steps to deter such tax-lowering deals. Deutsche Bank analyst Robyn Karnauskas said the deal was positive for AbbVie as Pharmacyclics' blood cancer treatment Imbruvica would diversify the business beyond Humira.
By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - The euro hit an 11-year low against the dollar and the region's stocks nudged higher on Thursday, as the European Central Bank prepared to provide the finer details of its soon-to-be-launched 1 trillion euro stimulus plan. The common currency fell to as low as $1.1026, its lowest level since September 2003 and the region's stock and periphery bond markets [GVD/EUR] opened up as hopes for the ECB's policy meeting in Cyprus lifted investors' spirits. The slide in the euro came as the dollar continued to claw higher on bets the U.S. Federal Reserve -- in sharp contrast to the ECB -- is heading for its first rate hike in almost a decade this year. For the last six week's the ECB has been working on exactly how it will choreograph the massive quantitative easing plan sketched out in January amid lingering resistance from countries such as Germany and technical issues that need ironing out.
By David Henry NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc had at least one advantage in its successful bid for the exclusive right to issue credit cards for Costco Wholesale Corp, rivals and tax specialists say: it lost so much money during the financial crisis that it has billions of dollars of tax credits. Citigroup and Costco have not disclosed terms of the deal, and outsiders can only speculate about the reasons Citigroup bid aggressively enough to win the business. They declined to be identified because the negotiations were confidential.
By Koh Gui Qing and Kevin Yao BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to run its biggest budget deficit in 2015 since the global financial crisis, stepping up spending as Premier Li Keqiang signaled that the lowest rate of growth in a quarter of a century is the "new normal" for the world's No.2 economy. "The downward pressure on China's economy is intensifying," Li told around 3,000 delegates gathered at the Great Hall of the People to the west of Beijing's Tiananmen Square. "Deep-seated problems in the country's economic development are becoming more obvious.