DUBLIN — U.S. drugmaker Perrigo agreed Monday to buy Ireland’s Elan for $8.6 billion in a deal that should allow the fast-growing firm to reduce its tax bill and boost its royalty stream.
Perrigo Co. said it would pay $6.25 per share in cash and $10.25 in Perrigo stock for Elan Corp., an 11 percent premium over Elan’s closing price Friday.
Perrigo has been based in the small western Michigan town of Allegan since 1887. Moving its tax residence to Ireland would allow its non-U.S. sales to be taxed at a much lower rate — 12 percent, instead of 35 percent.
Perrigo is already the largest maker of generic drugs for major retail chains in the United States, including Walgreens and Wal-Mart. It has rapidly expanded overseas since 2005.