Takeda takeover of Shire ap­proved

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS -

Takeda Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal has won key share­holder ap­proval to fi­nance its £46 bil­lion (€51.6bn) takeover of Shire, paving the way for Ja­pan’s largest cor­po­rate takeover and the cre­ation of a global drug­maker with com­bined rev­enues of $32 bil­lion (€28bn).

The vote yes­ter­day caps months of ag­gres­sive cam­paign­ing by Christophe We­ber, Takeda’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, to fend off at­tempts by some found­ing fam­ily mem­bers to de­rail a deal that the 237-year-old group sees as piv­otal to se­cur­ing its place among the world’s top 10 phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies.

Fol­low­ing a 2½ hour ex­traor­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing held in Osaka, Takeda said it won ap­proval from at least 88 per cent of its share­hold­ers to is­sue new shares to ac­quire the Ir­ish drug­maker.

The ac­qui­si­tion would add Shire’s lu­cra­tive rare dis­eases port­fo­lio to Takeda’s pipe­line, which lacked big late-devel­op­ment ex­per­i­men­tal drugs. It will also ex­pand its pres­ence in the US, the world’s largest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal mar­ket, which would ac­count for roughly half of its com­bined rev­enues af­ter the deal closes in Jan­uary.

Of the £46 bil­lion, the com­pany is ex­pected to fund about £25 bil­lion in new Takeda shares, and it has also se­cured $31 bil­lion in bank loans.

Since Takeda re­vealed its in­ter­est in Shire in late March, shares have fallen more than 20 per cent on con­cerns about the sheer size of the deal and the di­lu­tion for ex­ist­ing share­hold­ers. Yes­ter­day, the stock briefly fell 2.2 per cent af­ter the vote be­fore re­coup­ing the losses.

A group of more than 100 for­mer Takeda em­ploy­ees and found­ing fam­ily mem­bers have cam­paigned against the deal, ex­press­ing par­tic­u­lar con­cern about the $48 bil­lion in net debt the group will shoul­der af­ter the ac­qui­si­tion.

Takeda has said it plans to re­duce debt by di­vest­ing up to $10 bil­lion in non-core as­sets, and also through cost cuts of at least $1.4 bil­lion and cash flow of the merged en­tity. – Copy­right The Fi­nan­cial Times Lim­ited 2018

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