Shire rejects £42bn takeover bid by Japanese giant Takeda

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A bidding war threatened to break out for Shire after the drugs company rejected a £44 billion offer from a Japanese predator and an Irish rival revealed that it was weighing up an offer. A few months earlier, Takeda also sought to acquire the Salix Pharmaceuticals unit from Valeant Pharmaceuticals global, but talks collapsed when the companies couldn't agree on a price. The firm has said it could become acquisitive and is looking at strategic options. This prompted both companies to confirm the move and announce that Shire had rejected it, although their negotiations are continuing.

Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, has been actively looking overseas for acquisitions.

"We think that Takeda's recently expressed interest in Shire may flush out other potential bidders, most likely among the USA pharma heavyweights including Pfizer, Amgen and AbbVie", analysts at United First Partners said in a note, as quoted by Bloomberg.

It would be Weber's boldest move by far, significantly expanding the company's US presence while boosting its position in rare diseases, gastrointestinal disorders and neuroscience, where Shire is a leader in drugs to treat hyperactivity. Saunders' plans to sell Allergan to Pfizer for $160 billion were scuppered two years ago after the U.S. Treasury changed the rules on corporate tax inversions. "Shareholders seem to be voting this morning", Kedra said. "Discussions between the parties regarding a potential offer are ongoing".

The latest big deal proposed in the pharmaceuticals industry isn't likely to happen.

"Following the Board meeting on 14 April 2018 which rejected the Third Proposal, at the Board's request Shire's advisers entered into a dialogue with Takeda's advisers to discuss whether a further, more attractive, proposal may be forthcoming and to understand the basis on which such a proposal would be made", said Shire in a statement on Thursday. It offered £46.50 pounds per Shire share on April 12, 62 per cent of which would be in new Takeda stock.

The most recent offer was worth £43bn and would result in Shire shareholders owning about half the enlarged group.

But Shire said its board found the Takeda offer "significantly undervalue the company and Shire's growth prospects and pipeline", though it's willing to keep negotiating.