Shire considers new offer from Takeda Pharmaceutical

Japanese drugmaker revises $60bn bid for biotechnology company

Shire’s board “is considering its position” on a new bid from Takeda.

Shire’s board “is considering its position” on a new bid from Takeda.

 

Dublin-based pharma giant Shire is considering a new offer from Takeda Pharmaceutical after the Japanese drugmaker revised its roughly $60 billion (€49 billion) bid for the biotechnology company once again.

Shire’s board “is considering its position” on a new bid, the company said in a statement on Tuesday after it was reported that the companies were nearing a preliminary agreement. The Lexington, Massachusetts-based drugmaker did not disclose the value of Takeda’s latest offer.

The new proposal marks at least the fifth attempt by Takeda to woo Shire since it first expressed interest in a takeover less than four weeks ago. Discussions have revolved around a higher price as well as a possible increase in the cash component, according to sources.

Under UK takeover rules, Takeda must announce a firm offer or abandon its pursuit by Wednesday afternoon. The companies may seek an extension from authorities to finalise talks, sources said, declining to be identified as the discussions are confidential. Talks could also still fall apart, they said. Representatives for Takeda and Shire declined to comment.

Surged

Shire shares surged as much as 6.2 per cent in London, valuing the company at about £37 billion ( €42 billion). Takeda has declined about 24 per cent this year, valuing the company at about $35 billion.

Acquiring Shire would vault Takeda, which has few late-stage experimental drugs in its own pipeline, into the ranks of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies.

The Japanese company last week raised its offer to £47 a share and lifted the cash portion of the bid after three prior proposals were rejected. Friday’s proposal included £21 a share in cash and £26 apiece in new stock for Shire.

Takeda has been ramping up its takeover ambitions under chief executive officer Christophe Weber, seeking growth overseas amid patent expirations and a shrinking domestic population. A Shire takeover would be by far Takeda’s largest-ever deal and bring it medicines for rare diseases such as haemophilia -– a field that’s luring a growing number of drugmakers that can charge more for unique life-saving drugs than for routine treatment.

S&P Global Ratings has said the acquisition could hurt Takeda’s credit score.

- Bloomberg