The corporate rush to pay less in U.S. taxes reached a new milestone Friday when drugmaker AbbVie agreed to pay $54.8 billion to acquire Shire P.L.C.
In such so-called tax inversions, U.S.-based corporations buy other corporations whose tax "domiciles" are in countries with lower corporate taxes, while leaving most of their operations and employees in the United States.
About 1,000 of Shire's approximately 5,000 employees (and 300 contractors) work in Chesterbrook - the deal's impact on them is unclear - with nearly 40 percent of revenue tied to medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
That revenue will help AbbVie, which is overly dependent on one drug (Humira), but the North Chicago-based company wanted Shire because Shire is domiciled in Jersey. Not New Jersey, but the 45-square-mile hunk of rock that is one of the Channel Islands.