Shire recommends Takeda takeover offer

Article by Adam Duckett

SHIRE has opened the door to a £46bn (US$64bn) takeover bid from Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical.

The Irish drug giant, which has a strong portfolio of rare disease treatments, has recommended to its shareholders a revised bid from Takeda. The offer is a 7% increase on the first bid submitted in late March and a 58% premium on Shire’s share price ahead of Takeda’s interest going public.

A bid for Shire, whose drugs include Adderall – a treatment for deficit hyperactivity disorder – follows a series of international acquisitions by the Japanese drug-maker as it seeks to make up for a slowing domestic market and take its place on the global stage among the largest pharma firms, including Pfizer. However, this bid is significantly larger than its previous acquisitions and if approved by shareholders would be the largest takeover by a Japanese company.

If successful, the deal would see Takeda leapfrog ahead of AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly to become one of the largest pharmaceutical companies by sales.

Shire said in a statement that it would be willing to recommend the revised proposal to shareholders subject to completion of due diligence by both firms, and has given a deadline of 8 May for negotiations to be completed.

In its analysis, the Financial Times reports that if the deal is completed – taking into account the value of Shire’s debt – it will become the second largest takeover of a pharmaceutical firm after Pfizer’s US$112bn buyout of Warner Lambert in 2000, and the 13th largest deal of all time. The newspaper adds that several dealmakers said Takeda’s offer could prompt other majors, including Pfizer, to make a similar move.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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