Takeda hurries $62bn Shire acquisition, calls investor vote next month

Takeda will hold an investor vote on its $62 billion acquisition of Shire next month, and aims to close the deal on January 8.

Under the leadership of CEO Christophe Weber, Takeda is hoping to push through the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company, but needs two-thirds support from shareholders.

A small but vocal minority of shareholders, including members of the founding Takeda family, have opposed the deal because of concerns over the $31 billion bank loan required to fund it, as pharmaphorum reported last week.

Takeda has said it will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders to vote on the transaction on 5 December.

The company previously indicated that the EGM would occur early next year, but the vote means that dissident shareholders have less time to sway other investors against the merger.

Because of the global nature of the two businesses, the deal also needs approval from national antitrust authorities throughout the world.

Many of these smaller hurdles have now been cleared, including in the US – and according to the company European regulators may be willing to grant conditional approval.

Takeda has offered to divest Shire’s phase III drug SHP647 to address concerns about overlap in inflammatory bowel disease treatments.

The European Commission will issue a decision on the merger on or before November 20, the company added in a statement.

Other key regulators to have cleared the merger include Japan, China and Brazil.

 Christophe Weber

Weber said in a statement: “The acquisition of Shire will accelerate our strategic transformation to create a stronger, more global and more competitive company with the financial strength to continue investing in delivering highly innovative medicines and transformative care to patients around the world.”

“With the date of our Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders now set, we are looking forward to continuing our dialogue with shareholders regarding the compelling strategic and financial benefits of this transaction.”

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