Japanese drug maker Takeda to buy Ireland's Shire in $62 billion deal

Takeda Pharma offers $62 billion in takeover of Britain's Shire

One of the largest takeovers in pharmaceuticals has been agreed after the board of Shire recommended that its shareholders accept a £46 billion offer from a Japanese rival. Shire shareholders will also receive 0.839 new Takeda shares or 1.678 Takeda American Depository Shares, shares of a foreign-based company that can be purchased on a US stock exchange.

Shareholders of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Shire Plc will each own about 50 percent of the merged company. The two companies reached a merger agreement Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Takeda pledged to quickly reduce the debt and maintain the company's investment grade credit reading.

Takeda said the deal will save about $600m in duplicated research and development costs.

The acquisition would be the largest ever for a Japanese company, and would vault Takeda into the top 10 of global pharmaceutical giants.

Under CEO Flemming Ornskov, Shire bought out Baxalta for $32 billion, and has been combining its drugs into a pipeline heavily focused on rare diseases, giving Takeda what it likes to call a complementary organization to its own concentration on oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system therapeutic areas plus vaccines.

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To help fund the cash portion of the deal, Takeda said it had secured a bridging loan facility of US$31 billion with JPMorgan Chase Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp and MUFG Bank, among others.

Takeda's board members have approved the details of the acquisition plan that the company will formally propose to Shire, according to sources. Takeda is offering Shire shareholders a mixture of cash and stock.

Although based in Ireland, Shire has most of its operations in Lexington and Cambridge and more than 3,000 workers in MA.

The deal is by far the largest acquisition of a foreign firm by a Japanese company, dwarfing SoftBank Group's 2016 acquisition of Britain's ARM Holdings in a $24.3 billion deal.

The deal should help Takeda pivot away from its home base to more lucrative markets like the USA and Europe, and add new drugs to its shrinking pool of patent-protected products. With about 30,000 staffers at Takeda and 22,000 at Shire, a 7% cut would cost the jobs of about 3,640 people. Its net profit is about three times more than Takeda's. Last year, the company expanded its footprint in the United States oncology market with the US$4.7 billion purchase of Ariad Pharmaceuticals.

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