Takeda scouts out lenders to back its $40B-plus Shire bid

Takeda US facility
Under U.K. takeover rules, Takeda has until April 25 to bid for Shire or walk away. (Takeda)

The Shire bid Takeda’s been discussing is getting real.

The Japanese drugmakers is gauging creditors’ interest in providing loans that could help it make a bid that tops $40 billion, Reuters’ sources said. And Takeda will need some serious money; it's looking for tens of billions of dollars' worth of debt from multiple banks, the news service said, citing Kyodo News.

Among the potential creditors Takeda is consulting is its main bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

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If Takeda wants to swallow Shire, it’s going to have to take a big bite. While industry watchers were initially skeptical the company could pull it off—especially after word that Takeda was weighing a transaction dragged down its shares and sent Shire’s soaring—analysts turned more positive last week after Takeda outlined just how much debt it was willing to take on.

“We think the deal is likely because there is willing buyer, willing sellers and room to meet both sides’ expectations,” Bernstein’s Wimal Kapada wrote to clients, adding that he sees a deal as “more likely than not.”

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for Takeda, which could vault itself into the ranks of the world’s top drugmakers and beef up in the GI and neuroscience arenas if it can swing the Shire buy. Under U.K. takeover rules, the pharma has until April 25 to make a bid or walk away.

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