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Salix shares rise 7% after report of possible acquisition

Shares of Salix Pharmaceuticals rose nearly 7 percent Tuesday after Bloomberg News, citing people with knowledge of the matter, reported that Valeant Pharmaceuticals was exploring a takeover of the Raleigh company.

Shire Plc is also interested in buying Salix, Bloomberg reported, again citing people familiar with the matter.

Valeant, a Canadian drugmaker, and Shire are just the latest pharmaceutical companies to be linked to Salix, which last year drew interest from both Allergan and Actavis.

Salix, which sells drugs to treat gastrointestinal ailments, has been in turmoil since November when the company disclosed that it had been reporting elevated inventory levels for three of its drugs. The disclosure led to the departure of both the company’s chief financial officer and chief executive officer.

Last week, Salix reported that it would restate its financial statements for 2013 and the first three quarters of 2014. Investors reacted positively to the announcement, pushing the company’s stock higher.

Several analysts also noted that the resolution of Salix’s accounting issues may make it more attractive to potential acquirers.

Salix has hired an investment bank to help it explore its options, including a possible sale, according to a recent report by Reuters.

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