Drugs firm Takeda secures shareholder backing for £46bn Shire takeover


Japanese drugs firm Takeda has won shareholder approval for its £46 billion acquisition of Shire.

The company said the proposal had won support from at least 88% of its shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting in Osaka on Wednesday.

It hopes to complete the takeover on January 8, subject to approval from Shire shareholders who are due to meet later on Wednesday.

Takeda reached a deal in May to buy Irish rival Shire for £49.01 a share to create a global pharmaceutical giant.

Christophe Weber, Takeda’s president and chief executive, said: “With shareholder approval secured, we are looking forward to closing the acquisition in the coming weeks to create a more competitive, agile, highly profitable, and therefore more resilient company, poised to deliver highly innovative medicines and transformative care to patients around the world.”

The vote comes following concerns the company is taking on too much debt to finance the deal.

Takeda expects the cash flow generated from the acquisition will help reduce the company’s debt following completion.

The company intends to reduce its debt to two times adjusted earnings within three to five years.

Takeda previously said it would divest Shire’s pipeline compound SHP647, which is currently in Phase III clinical trials, to allay concerns over a future potential overlap between the companies’ inflammatory bowel disease products.

The takeover has already secured clearance from regulators in the US, Japan, China and Brazil.