AbbVie Inc. made a fourth offer to buy Shire Plc, raising the price to about 30.1 billion pounds ($51.5 billion) in an effort to force negotiations. Shire said its board would meet to discuss the bid.

AbbVie increased the offer by about 11 percent to 51.15 pounds a share in cash and stock, the drugmaker said in a statement today. AbbVie made three previous bids, escalating to 27.3 billion pounds, a price that Shire’s board unanimously rejected, saying it undervalued the comany’s prospects for increasing sales of its rare-disease medicines.

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