Takeda to Buy Shire for USD 62 billion

Takeda Pharmaceutical agreed to buy London-listed Shire for 45.3 billion pounds (USD 62 billion), the biggest yet in a wave of deals sweeping the drugs industry.

Assuming it wins the backing of shareholders, the deal will be the largest overseas purchase by a Japanese company and propel Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, into the top 10 rankings of global drugmakers.

The tie-up crowns a hectic few months of M & A activity as big drugmakers, including Novartis and Sanofi, have brought in promising medicines developed by younger firms.

The enlarged group will be a Japanese national champion in pharmaceuticals and a leader in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare diseases and blood-derived therapies, used for serious conditions such as hemophilia.

Shire has profitable businesses selling drugs for hyperactivity and rare disorders but the size of the deal will make Takeda one of the most indebted drugmakers, prompting Standard & Poor’s to warn of a potential credit downgrade.

To pay off debts quickly, Takeda plans to slash thousands of jobs and cut back on duplicated drug research.

The deal, struck on the last day Takeda had to make a firm bid, is around 46 percent cash and 54 percent stock, leaving Shire shareholders owning around half of the combination.

Shire had rejected four previous offers, due to price concerns and the fact that the Japanese company is proposing to pay for much of the acquisition in stock.

Shire investors will receive $30.33 in cash and either 0.839 new Takeda shares or 1.678 Takeda American depositary shares for each share, valuing the offer at 48.17 pounds a share based on the latest price and exchange rate.

That is a 60 percent premium to the price before Takeda first declared its interest six weeks ago.