Takeda may just go unchallenged after all in its quest to swallow Shire.
With a fifth offer from the Japanese drugmaker on the table, the companies are nearing a tie-up pact, sources told Bloomberg, and they may have a preliminary agreement to announce as soon as Tuesday. Such a move would come just one day before Takeda’s deadline to put forth a firm offer or walk away under U.K. takeover rules.
Shire said Friday it was considering Takeda’s fourth bid—a £47 billion offer ($61.6 billion) comprising £26 per share in new Takeda shares and £21 per share in cash—after shooting down three previous offers. And Tuesday morning, the Dublin drugmaker said its suitor had sweetened the deal even more, though it didn’t reveal the offer’s terms. A cash component bump-up may be part of the new proposal, if recent analyst speculation proves correct.
While there’s been plenty of talk about a Big Pharma competitor stepping in with its own Shire bid, so far none have come forward. Late last week, Allergan confirmed that it was talking with the rare-disease specialist, though it formally withdrew from the takeover process just a few short hours later.
Still, industry watchers have seen Takeda as somewhat of an underdog thanks to its smaller size. To nab Shire, it would have to go into some serious debt, although that’s a possibility the company has said it's ready for.
On the other hand, if Takeda does buy Shire, it’ll join the ranks of the world’s largest drugmakers. Shire will bolster its GI and neuroscience units and give it an entry into rare diseases and hemophilia.