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

Takeda US facility
Takeda has already seen three buyout bids rejected by Shire, with the latest checking in at $61 billion. (Image: Takeda)

Three of Takeda’s anticipated Shire buyout bids have already been rejected—and now, the Japanese drugmaker might just lose out to a competing bidder. Allergan, for instance, is already in talks for a buy.

Just as the Japanese drugmaker unveiled its latest offer for Shire, an equity-heavy $61 billion bid that the buyout target immediately rejected, reports hit that Allergan had shouldered its way into the contest.

Allergan "is in the process of evaluating a full range of potential strategic actions that will create value for shareholders, such as divestitures, combinations and acquisitions. The company has hired multiple financial advisors to assist in the review of these options," it said in a statement, adding that it "confirms that it is in the early stages of considering a possible offer for Shire." 

That obviously complicates matters for the Japanese drugmaker, which on Thursday said it had struck out with a £46.50 per share ($66.17) bid last week, after Shire nixed previous tries at £45.50 and £44.00. The third offer preceded an April 25 deadline put into play when Takeda publicly announced its interest in a Shire takeout late last month.

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

For now, discussions with Shire are ongoing, Takeda said, but the way Jefferies analyst Peter Welford sees it, “any future raised offer is likely include a greater equity component.” That could make things “even more problematic for many shareholders," with the latest bid meeting resistance at just 38% cash.

Meanwhile, industry watchers had already surmised that Takeda’s move could force other potential bidders out of the woodwork. Like Takeda, Allergan has zeroed in on GI and CNS as growth areas—and they're two areas that a Shire buy could bolster.

RELATED: Will flush-with-cash Big Pharma beat Takeda to a Shire deal?

Allergan is also in desperate need of a share-price lift after competitive threats to its two top products, Restasis and Botox, have soured investor sentiment. The company has embarked on a cost-cutting drive and explored a $5 billion women’s health sale, but so far, nothing has done the trick.

Shire itself is dealing with struggling shares, thanks in part to hefty new hemophilia competition from Roche. But while its stock is languishing, it's still not low enough for Takeda to swallow the company without taking on some serious debt, a fact that’s made some analysts skeptical the company can pull it off.

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