Markets

Shire, Takeda reach breakthrough in deal talks

Shire, Takeda reach breakthrough in deal talks

The deadline can be extended at the request of Shire.

Shire, which rebuffed the first three Takeda approaches, saw its shares rise almost 4% in afternoon trading. Ambitious cost cutting will be required to make the deal pay.

Shire also has a track record of acquisitions, but its biggest-ever deal - the $32 billion purchase of Baxalta in 2016 - was widely criticized by shareholders. Dealmaking has surged in the drug industry this year as large players look for promising assets to improve their pipelines.

Shire, which has itself grown quickly from its origins above a shop in Basingstoke thanks to a series of takeovers, focuses on drugs for rare diseases and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Shire has always been seen as a likely takeover target and was almost bought by USA drugmaker AbbVie Inc in 2014, until US tax rule changes caused the deal to fall apart.




Last Friday, Takeda had lifted its cash and stock bid to the equivalent of £47 per share. Takeda has already made several offers to Shire, and has been rebuffed on each occasion, however it has come back to the table with a greater cash offer, and Shire is expected to agree to an extension of the regulatory deadline for offers, that will give Takeda time to put in a firmer bid.

Shire's board said it is now considering its position on the latest proposal, and will issue a further announcement "in due course".

Based on Takeda's current market capitalisation, Shire shareholders would own approximately 49 percent of the new group.

Shire confirmed it had received a better offer but did not disclose the details.


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