After some Thursday drama, Shire weighs Takeda's cash-sweetened $61.5B offer

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Shire's board is weighing Takeda's fourth buyout bid, rather than dismissing it up front as it did with the previous three. (Shire)

The third time wasn’t the charm for Takeda in its attempts to swallow Shire—but the fourth time might be.

On Friday, the Dublin drugmaker said it had received a new offer from Japan’s largest pharma, comprising £26 per share in new Takeda shares and and £21 per share in cash—good for £47 per share total, or about £44 billion ($61.6 billion).

And unlike Takeda’s first three bids of £46.50, £45.50 and £44.00 per share, which Shire rejected, the company is actually considering this one.

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RELATED: Takeda confirms it's scoping out Shire for a GI-focused buyout bid of up to $52B

“The board of Shire is considering its position with respect to the fourth proposal and will issue a further announcement in due course,” it said in a statement.

The news comes just one day after word that Shire had already shot down the trio of Takeda bids. Thursday also saw traditionally M&A-happy Allergan reveal that it had muscled its way into a spot at the dealmaking table, only to turn around and walk away a few hours later, to the market’s great relief.

RELATED: Allergan swoops in as Takeda's third Shire bid falls short at $61B

Still, the flip-flop may have struck a little fear into Takeda, which doesn’t have a whole lot of room to keep raising its offer without going into serious debt. Several U.S. drugmakers, on the other hand, are rolling in potential dealmaking funds thanks to tax reform, and industry watchers have floated a few of them—think Pfizer, Amgen and AbbVie, which has already struck one deal for Shire—as potential suitors.

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