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Irvine-based Allergan Inc. will host a special shareholders’ meeting on Dec. 18, according to a court filing today.

The drug maker is fighting off a hostile takeover bid by Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and its largest shareholder, activist investor Bill Ackman and his Pershing Square Capital Management LP.

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The Botox maker said it picked that date in response to a lawsuit filed last week by Valeant and Ackman in an attempt to keep Allergan from finding another potential partner before the shareholder meeting.

Allergan bylaws allow a special shareholder meeting to be held within 120 days after at least 25% of its holders request the meeting.

Valeant and Ackman are seeking to oust a majority of Allergan’s board members and replace them with directors who favor the takeover bid.

Allergan shares closed flat, with a market value of $48.7 billion. Valeant shares closed up 1% to a market value of $39.3 billion.