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Takeda shareholders approve $62bn Shire acquisition

Published on 06/12/18 at 10:31am

Japanese firm Takeda have gained shareholders’ approval for the $62 billion acquisition of the Irish headquartered company Shire Plc.

The deal is set to see Asia’s largest pharma firm become a major global player, as the acquisition is set to propel the Osaka-based company into the top 10 biggest pharmaceutical firms worldwide.

The approval comes after a long and convoluted process through which shareholders clashed with Takeda executives over the specifics of the momentous acquisition.

As shareholders rebelled, and shares plummeted as a result, Shire repeatedly rejected Takeda’s offers. However Takeda’s first foreign born CEO, Frenchman Christophe Weber, was able to win over 88% of Takeda shareholders in securing the landmark deal this week.

The acquisition does however come at a price, as Takeda will have to take on an additional $30 billion in debt. Nevertheless, Takeda shares rose by 1.1% in trading on Monday. Stocks in the London-listed Shire, shot up by 3% on the same day having jumped by 53% since the deal was first announced in March. Takeda’s share price is however down by 23% since the deal was announced.

Kazuhisa Takeda, a member of the company’s founding family, spoke out against the deal on Tuesday, citing concerns over the amount of debt Takeda would be compelled to take on.

Takeda was founded in June 1781 having originated as a company selling herbal medicines in Japan. Thus Weber is under pressure to retain the company’s Japanese heritage. The deal is however aimed at internationalising the company, who seek to expand into the US market. The acquisition is also set to boost Takeda's R&D as it takes on the rare disease specialist's pipeline. 

Louis Goss

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