It’s no secret that Takeda’s pending Shire megadeal has plenty of critics, and some of them have penned a letter to company president Christophe Weber demanding behind-the-scenes information and documents to justify the buy.
The group of about 130 shareholders, including alumni of the Japanese drugmaker, requested that Weber serve up details on how Takeda plans to pay down the debt it’ll incur with the $62 billion acquisition. It also wants to know why Takeda offered a 65% premium for the rare-disease-focused target, and it’s asking for board-meeting minutes and executive statements, too, Nikkei Asian Review reports.
Dubbing itself, “Thinking about Takeda's Bright Future," the group gave Takeda an Oct. 31 response deadline.
Takeda’s deal first faced opposition well before the two parties shook hands. In March, the company’s shares plummeted after it revealed its interest in Shire, in part because of questions surrounding the hefty debt necessary to pull the deal off.
And since Takeda and Shire inked their pact back in May, more critics have joined the chorus. A descendent of Takeda’s founder publicly voiced his disapproval, predicting the takeover would prove detrimental to the Japanese drugmaker’s business. “Hasty decisions on big deals should be avoided. It will lead to disaster if there are large-scale mergers and acquisitions without careful consideration,” he said in September.
This isn’t the first time this particular shareholder group—which owns about 1% of the company, Nikkei says—has tried to pump the brakes on the Shire deal, either, Nikkei notes. During a June shareholder meeting, the group proposed a rule requiring that acquisitions of more than 1 trillion yen ($8.78 billion) win shareholder approval first. But the proposal garnered less than 10% support from shareholders.
Takeda has defended its buyout decision and particularly worked to ward off concerns about its lagging hemophilia business. At a June meeting, Weber reassured investors that Takeda had already factored next-gen competition from Roche into its financial models for the company after Shire joins the fold.