Takeda and Shire finally agree takeover terms after months of negotiations

Irish pharmaceutical company Shire has finally accepted a takeover offer from Japan’s Takeda, bringing an end to a saga that has seen four previous bids rejected by the Dublin-based drug maker

The acquisition of Shire will see Takeda become one of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, as well as putting the company in a leading position in the treatment of rare diseases

On May 8, Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda announced it had finally come to an agreement to acquire Dublin-based drug maker Shire. The acquisition follows four previously unsuccessful offers from Takeda, dating back to March.

The deal, which values Shire at £46bn ($62bn), will see Takeda become one of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world by sales, as well as putting the company in a leading position in the treatment of rare diseases. Takeda’s main areas of focus moving forward will be neuroscience, oncology, gastroenterology and vaccines.

The Japanese company’s global footprint will be significantly bolstered by the addition of Shire’s assets, particularly those in the lucrative US market. Takeda has revealed it expects pre-tax cost synergies to reach $1.4bn after three years, mostly stemming from the integration of redundant infrastructure within the two companies.

Takeda’s global footprint will be significantly bolstered by the addition of Shire’s assets, particularly those in the lucrative US market

“Shire’s highly complementary product portfolio and pipeline, as well as experienced employees, will accelerate our transformation for a stronger Takeda,” said Takeda President and CEO Christophe Weber in a statement.

“Together, we will be a leader in providing targeted treatments in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies.

“We are looking forward to the benefits this combination will bring to patients worldwide, the opportunities it will bring for our employees and the returns it will deliver for our shareholders.”

The proposed merger was complicated in April, when Shire sold its oncology business to France’s Servier, removing one of Takeda’s key motivations for seeking the acquisition. Takeda’s cancer-treatment portfolio had already been supplemented in early 2017, however, with the purchase of oncology specialist firm ARIAD Pharmaceuticals.

Despite having a significantly lower market cap than Shire, Takeda was able to obtain $30.85bn from a number of institutions – including JPMorgan Chase, Sumitomo Mitsui and MUFG Bank – in order to finance the takeover. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019.