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Takeda secures investor backing for £46bn Shire takeover

The deal is expected to close early next year

Takeda

Takeda has secured the backing of its shareholders to buy Irish biotech Shire for £46bn, a move that could rank the Japanese pharma group as one of the top ten drug makers in the world.

After a gruelling two and a half hour meeting held in Osaka, Japan, almost 90% of shareholders agreed to the takeover, but the decision was met with some resistance.

Takeda’s rebel shareholders have been in a spat with the executive leadership team after the Japanese drug maker agreed to buy the debt-ridden company earlier this year.

The opposition group is small in number, but it includes Takeda’s founders who made it no secret that they wanted to stop the takeover, and claimed that the move would be damaging to the company.

While the takeover will give Takeda a solid platform for rare diseases, it will also accrue a massive amount of debt, which is what the rebel investors were mostly concerned about.

That figure is around $30bn – but chief executive Christophe Weber doesn’t seem to be alarmed, despite witnessing a fall in shares by more than 20% since Takeda first expressed interest in Shire.

Weber is adamant that Shire will help Takeda grow outside Japan, swelling the company’s pipeline in the process.

The company also has a plan to reduce the debt, starting with the divestment of up to $10bn in non-core assets along with cutting costs of at least $1.4bn.

Weber said: “We are delighted that our shareholders have given their strong support to our acquisition of Shire.

“With shareholder approval secured, we are looking forward to closing the acquisition in the coming weeks to create a more competitive, agile, highly profitable, and therefore more resilient company, poised to deliver highly innovative medicines and transformative care to patients around the world.”

As part of the deal, Takeda’s executive team will be subject to a bit of a shake-up as it makes room for Shire’s existing directors Ian Clark, Olivier Bohuon and Steven Gillis.

Takeda has already made a few sacrifices to fund the deal, the latest being the sale of its Osaka headquarters. However, it doesn’t plan to relocate but rather lease the buildings back instead.

The terms of the deal will need to be approved by Shire, but the deal is expected to close on 8 January next year.

Article by
Gemma Jones

5th December 2018

From: Sales

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