LONDON / NEW YORK (Reuters) – London-listed pharmaceutical company Shire Plc said it was willing to recommend an agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co to its shareholders after the Japanese company sweetened its takeover bid to 46 billion pounds. (64,000 million dollars).
The development, first reported by Reuters , represents a breakthrough for companies in their negotiations, following a search that began on March 28 when Takeda said it was considering an offer for Shire. Since then, Takeda has made five offers, the last one on Tuesday.
Shire said in a statement that it had agreed to extend Wednesday's regulatory deadline for negotiations of the agreement to conclude on May 8 in order to allow Takeda to carry out more diligence and reaffirm its offer. Shire added that the deadline could be extended further, if necessary.
Takeda shares fell nearly 6 percent in early Tokyo operations on Wednesday as investors worried about their ability to finance the cash and stock deal.
Any agreement between the two companies is still subject to the resolution of several problems, including the completion of due diligence by Shire at Takeda, Shire said.
Takeda added in its own statement that it intended to maintain its dividend policy and its investment grade credit rating after the agreement.
Shire focuses on treatments for rare diseases and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. An agreement would be the largest acquisition ever made abroad by a Japanese company and would propel Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, to the highest ranks of drug makers worldwide.
It would significantly increase Takeda's position in gastrointestinal disorders, neuroscience, and rare diseases, including a highly successful hemophilia franchise.
But the transaction would be a big financial stretch, since Shire is worth much more than the Japanese group. An ambitious cost reduction will be required to make the agreement profitable.
This year, the drug industry has emerged as the big players look for promising assets to improve their pipelines. A Takeda-Shire transaction would be by far the largest. Shire has always been seen as a possible acquisition target and was almost bought by US drugmaker AbbVie Inc in 2014, until the changes in US tax regulations. UU They caused the agreement to collapse. Shire also has a history of acquisitions, but the largest deal in history, the purchase of Baxalta for $ 32 billion in 2016, was widely criticized by shareholders.
Shire, based in Dublin, a member of the British FTSE 100 stock index, said Takeda's fifth offer was worth 49.01 pounds per share, consisting of the equivalent of 27.26 pounds per share in new Takeda shares and 21.75 pounds per share. cash. Under these terms, Shire shareholders would own half of the combined company.
ALLERGAN BOWED OUT
Allergan Plc, the US manufacturer of Botox, had been considering a rival offer for Shire but declined to make an offer last week.
Shire also announced last week that he was selling his oncology business to the French pharmacist Servier, which is publicly traded, for $ 2.4 billion.
Takeda has lost more than 17 percent since the news that he was considering an offer for Shire, reducing its market value to 3.6 trillion yen ($ 33 billion).
Takeda investors have been skeptical about the merits of an agreement in Shire, given the size of the potential purchase and the likely need for a large issuance of shares, which could be very dilutive.
Weber was promoted to CEO in 2015, becoming the first non-Japanese head of the pharmaceutical company.
Shire has its roots in 1986, when he started as a calcium supplement salesman to treat osteoporosis, operating from an office located above a store in Hampshire. Since then it has grown rapidly through acquisitions to generate revenues of around $ 15.2 billion last year.
Reports by Ben Martin in London and Carl O & # 39; Donnell in New York, additional reports by Padraic Halpin in Dublin and Ben Hirschler in New York and Sam Nussey in Tokyo; Edition by Richard Chang, Rosalba O & # 39; Brien and Edwina Gibbs