Japan's Takeda announces £46 bn firm offer for Shire

Tokyo (AFP) –


Japanese drug giant Takeda on Tuesday announced a firm acquisition offer worth £46 billion ($62.5 billion) for Irish pharma firm Shire, after a series of unofficial bids were turned down.

The proposal, if implemented, would represent the largest ever foreign takeover by a Japanese firm, and will create one of the top-ten pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The announcement follows a string of lower offers rejected by Shire over the past month. It comes as Takeda looks to expand abroad in the face of a projected drop in drug prices at home.

Late last month, the Irish pharmaceutical firm said its board would recommend the £46-billion bid "subject to satisfactory resolution of the other terms of the possible offer".

On Tuesday, Takeda said the boards of the two companies "have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended offer pursuant to which" the Japanese firm will acquire Shire.

Analysts have said the buyout would be a smart move by Takeda as it looks to diversify, and could pay off in the long-term.

Takeda shares closed up 3.99 percent at 4,638 yen right before the widely expected announcement, after three consecutive days of declines as investors worried about whether the deal would overextend the firm's finances.