Takeda to Move US Headquarters to Boston

  • Takeda to Move US Headquarters to BostonTakeda to Move US Headquarters to Boston

Following the completion of its $64 billion takeover of Shire, Japanese drugmaker Takeda has announced plans to restructure its US operations. In a first move, it will close its Chicago-area headquarters at Deerfield, Illinois, and concentrate the activities close to Boston, near the former headquarters of Ariad, a biotech it acquired for $5.2 billion in 2017.

About 1,000 employees will be affected by the move. Some will receive relocation offers, Takeda told US trade journal Fierce Pharma.

The plans, which the company said would better position its pipeline and simplify its US operations, are subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. Shire also has a base in the Boston area, where it employs 3,000 people. Takeda employs more than 5,000 people in the US.

Last year, Takeda moved as many as 750 employees in R&D and vaccines from the Deerfield site to Cambridge, Massachusetts, while saying it had no plans to close the site altogether. Shire’s rare-disease research and US commercial operations are based in Cambridge, while biologic and other manufacturing operations are in Lexington.

Plans for the merged Takeda-Shire foresee a corporate headquarters in Japan. Takeda shareholders would own about 50% of the company, which would have a combined workforce of about 52,000 worldwide.

 Analysts predict merger-related job cuts totaling 6-7% of the workforce. Additionally, Takeda is said to be considering consolidating Shire’s operations into its own business in the US, Switzerland and Singapore. Shire is officially headquartered in Dublin, but managed from the US.

Meanwhile, a small group of Takeda shareholders – led by Kazu Takeda, a descendant of the founding family –  continues to try to torpedo the deal. “Hasty decisions on big deals should be avoided. It will lead to disaster if there are large-scale mergers and acquisitions without careful consideration,” Kazu Takeda told London newspaper The Times.

Part of the opposition to the deal, Takeda said, is that it would undermine one of the primary principles of "Takeda-ism,” which is that the company make money by making people happy.

While saying that scaling up is necessary, he added that management “has to think about the traditional corporate culture and the health of the company.”

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