Takeda and Shire agree £46bn takeover

Article by Adam Duckett

TAKEDA PHARMACEUTICAL has agreed to buy Shire for £46bn (US$62bn) as it seeks to create a global leader in biopharmaceuticals.

The combination merges Shire’s portfolio of treatments for rare diseases with Takeda’s for cancer, gastroenterology and neuroscience.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close following shareholder and regulatory approval in the first half of next year. Once complete, the merged firm will leapfrog AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly to become one of the largest pharmaceutical companies by sales.

Takeda’s bid 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 for Ireland-based Shire is significantly larger than its previous acquisitions and if finalised would become the largest takeover by a Japanese company.

Christophe Weber, Takeda CEO, said: “Shire’s highly complementary product portfolio and pipeline, as well as experienced employees, will accelerate our transformation for a stronger Takeda. Together, we will be a leader in providing targeted treatments in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies.”

Takeda expects the merged firms will achieve cost-savings of at least US$1.4bn/y.

“With this combination, Shire helps create an even stronger biopharmaceutical company, with a robust R&D pipeline and expanded global footprint,” said Shire chair Susan Kilsby.

Takeda said the integrated company will be headquartered in Japan, listed in both Tokyo and New York, will expand its R&D presence in the Boston, US, area, and have major regional locations in Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the US.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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