Drugmaking companies agree to $55 billion merger

The drugmaker AbbVie has reached a deal worth roughly $55 billion to combine with British counterpart Shire and become the latest U.S. company to seek an overseas haven from tax rates back home.

The companies said Friday they will create a new company that is incorporated on the British island of Jersey, where Shire currently is incorporated. But the new company will be controlled by shareholders of North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie, who will own about 75 percent of the new company’s stock.

Shire shareholders will receive cash and stock valued at about 53.19 pounds ($91.07) for each of their shares. They will then hold the remaining 25 percent stake in the new company.

Bell tolls for Nokia X phone, which failed to find its niche

The Nokia X phones that Microsoft discontinued this week blend two rival operating systems, but leave out the best of each. As a result, the devices didn’t become a runaway hit as Nokia’s low-cost answer to serving emerging markets.

Nokia X phones were devised to be a gateway to the company’s pricier Lumia phones.

But Microsoft completed its deal to buy Nokia’s phone business in April, and Nokia X is gone less than three months later.

– From news service reports