Are these companies unpatriotic?

  • AbbVie/Shire: $55 billion

    Photo, file: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

    North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie (ABBV) is the biggest U.S. company to move to a foreign address for tax purposes. In its proposed $55 billion deal to buy U.K.'s Shire, AbbVie would legally become British, lowering its tax rate from 22 percent to 13 percent, according to Bloomberg News.

    AbbVie, which makes the rheumatoid arthritis medicine Humira, said the deal isn't solely for tax purposes. "This is a transaction that we believe has excellent strategic fit, well beyond the tax impact," AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez said in a recent conference call to discuss the merger.