Takeda share­hold­ers OK Ja­pan’s big­gest takeover of for­eign firm

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

TAKEDA Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Co. won ap­proval from share­hold­ers on Wed­nes­day for its plan to pur­chase Ir­ish drug­maker Shire Plc. for 46 bil­lion pounds ($58 bil­lion), in what would be the big­gest-ever overseas ac­qui­si­tion by a Ja­panese com­pany.

Although some found­ing fam­ily mem­bers and for­mer em­ploy­ees op­posed the pur­chase at an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing, at least 88 per­cent of Takeda share­hold­ers gave the nod to a plan to buy the Dublin-based com­pany to cre­ate the world’s ninth-largest drug­maker with com­bined sales of about 2.8 trillion yen ($24.8 bil­lion).

“We are de­lighted that our share­hold­ers have given their strong sup­port to our ac­qui­si­tion of Shire,” Takeda CEO Christophe We­ber said in a state­ment.

Takeda has al­ready won ap­proval from an­titrust reg­u­la­tors in rel­e­vant coun­tries in­clud­ing Ja­pan, China and the United States. The drug­maker aims to com­plete the pur­chase by early Jan­uary.

The ap­proval came in the face of op­po­si­tion from a group of share­hold­ers who had sought to vote down the takeover plan since their ini­tial at­tempt to do so was re­jected at a gen­eral share­hold­ers’ meet­ing in June. They be­lieve the deal is too costly to pur­sue.

At the meet­ing in the west­ern Ja­pan city of Osaka, an op­po­nent of the takeover asked, “Isn’t the ac­qui­si­tion a gam­ble?” But We­ber said the deal would en­able Takeda to strengthen its spend­ing on re­search and devel­op­ment and gain com­pet­i­tive­ness in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try.

Op­po­nents in­clude Ku­nio Takeda and Kazuhisa Takeda, found­ing fam­ily mem­bers and a for­mer chair­man, and for­mer di­rec­tor of Ja­pan’s largest drug­maker, re­spec­tively.

Kazuhisa Takeda told a press con­fer­ence at the For­eign Cor­re­spon­dents’ Club of Ja­pan in Tokyo ear­lier this week that the deal is too risky. “It may be true that Takeda has not been suc­cess­ful in re­cent years to strengthen its new drugs...But I think Shire is not the answer.”

The merger is ex­pected to in­crease Takeda’s net in­ter­est-bear­ing debt to more than 5 trillion yen, about 10 times the amount be­fore the ac­qui­si­tion.

Op­po­nents of the Shire ac­qui­si­tion were con­cerned about the hefty debt and the re­duc­tion in earn­ings per share that will re­sult from the new share is­suance to fi­nance the deal.

Takeda is look­ing to add Lon­don­listed Shire’s know-how in rare dis­eases in­clud­ing he­mo­philia to Takeda’s core busi­nesses of on­col­ogy, neu­ro­science and gas­troen­terol­ogy. More than 60 per­cent of Shire’s sales have been in the United States.

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