Takeda and Shire Shareholders Approve Merger
Shareholders of Japanese drugmaker Takeda and Netherlands-domiciled, US-managed Shire have separately approved the merger of the two pharmaceutical manufacturers. All regulatory instances have now given the green light.
The vote, in which Takeda said at least 88% of its shareholders signaled their approval, came two weeks after it was greenlighted by European Commission. Kunio Takeda, chairman and the last member of the founding family to run the Japanese company, had opposed the buyout, citing high risks.
In their own meeting, Shire’s shareholders approved the transaction with almost 100% in favor.
With its shareholders’ backing, Takeda can now issue new shares to finance about half of the deal, which is now valued at around $58 billion rather than $62 billion, thanks to a rise in the share price.
Takeda expects to complete the transaction on Jan. 8, 2019. The combined entity will be one of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies by revenue with a focus on oncology, gastroenterology, neurology, rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies, which together will generate 75% of global sales.
The biggest ever purchase by a Japanese company will “create a more competitive, agile, highly profitable, and therefore more resilient company,” Takeda CEO Christophe Weber said.
Weber, the drugmaker’s first non-Japanese chief, has faced criticism in Japan for his bold approach to diversification. Since taking office in 2014, he has launched a massive geographical reorientation and refocused the drug pipeline on core therapy areas of cancer, gastrointestinal and central nervous system drugs, along with vaccines.
The French national has also made waves by divesting Takeda’s drug development and entering a marketing alliance with PRA Health Sciences