A SUCCESSFUL pharmaceutical company which started life in Andover is at the centre of a £30billion takeover bid.

US firm AbbVie has upped its takeover proposal for Shire, which was once based in East Anton but now operates in Basingstoke.

Shire, employs about 500 people at Hampshire International Business Park in Chineham, Basingstoke, and more than 5,000 people in 29 countries across the world.

The US firm’s third cash and shares proposal at the end of last month valued Shire at 4626p a share, or £27.2 billion. It has now increased this to 5115p, equivalent to just over £30 billion.

AbbVie’s pursuit of Shire comes just weeks after UK firm AstraZeneca fought off takeover interest worth £69 billion from US drugs giant Pfizer.