Takeda ponies up €130M to settle tax linked to distant AbbVie-Shire breakup fee

After years spent challenging a tax break fee tethered to its massive Shire buyout, Takeda has settled with Irish authorities.

Takeda will pay 130 million euros (about $137 million) to resolve a tax assessment from the Irish Revenue Commissioners, the company said Wednesday. Back in 2018, Irish authorities hit Shire with a 398 million euro charge tied to AbbVie’s abandoned takeover bid for that company in 2014. Takeda ultimately purchased Shire for $62 billion in 2019.

Throughout the years, Takeda has sought to challenge the charge, with a hearing taking place in late 2020 before the Irish Tax Appeals Commission.

In July 2021, the commission ruled in favor of Irish Revenue—an outcome Takeda intended to appeal.

The re-hearing process was still ongoing when Takeda and Irish Revenue reached their settlement.

Takeda says it intends to pay the settlement amount during the quarterly period ending Dec. 31, 2023. The charge isn’t expected to take a toll on the company’s core financial results, Takeda added.

That said, Takeda will revise its revenue forecast for the 2023 fiscal year “as appropriate and necessary.” That update should arrive during Takeda’s second-quarter earnings call on Oct. 26.

The tax stems from a $1.64 billion breakup fee AbbVie paid Shire in 2014 after its proposed $55 billion merger hit the bricks. Takeda ultimately snagged the rare disease specialist in a $62 billion deal that closed in January 2019. Following the mammoth Shire purchase, Takeda has embarked on a years-long debt-slashing spree fueled by sales of “noncore” drugs outside of its focus areas.

Takeda unveiled the request from Irish tax authorities in a December 2018 U.S. securities filing. AbbVie, meanwhile, walked away from the Shire deal after the Obama administration rolled out regulations to deter tax inversion deals. Shire at the time predicted the fee wouldn't be taxable in Ireland, though the situation certainly hasn't played out that way.