Takeda again sweetens its offer for Shire

Takeda CEO Christophe Weber

Dublin-headquartered Shire shares slip after Botox maker Allergan rule out takeover bid

The brouhaha surrounding Shire (SHPG) continued Friday after Takeda Pharmaceuticals made a fourth bid to buy the drugmaker, sweetening the pot from an earlier proposal that valued the company around $61 billion.

On Thursday, Shire confirmed it had received three conditional acquisition proposals from the Japanese firm Takeda - the most recent for approximately £44bn ($61bn).

Shire has said that it is "considering" its position and will issue a further announcement in due course.

This latest proposal is for GBP47.00 per share, comprising GBP21.00 in cash and GBP26.00 of new Takeda shares.

The latest cash-and-shares offer is valued at £47 per share in Shire - just 50p above the level rejected by Shire on a tumultuous day for the FTSE 100 firm yesterday.

Local media reports say Allergan apparently concluded that its shareholders would not back the acquisition.

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Shire stock climbed 2.3% to close at 164.37 on the stock market today.

Takeda proposed to buy Shire for over 60 billion dollars.

The specialty pharma group said earlier this year that it planned to cut its workforce by more than 5% - culling around 1,000 jobs and leaving another 400 vacancies unfilled - in a bid to reduce costs as it faces tougher competition for dry eye treatment Restasis, its second-biggest product after Botox.

Allergan shares trimmed their losses, closing down about 4%.

Allergan has until 17 May to make a formal bid for Shire or bow out for six months under United Kingdom takeover rules for public companies, but after a fall in its own share price yesterday Allergan said it didn't intend to make a formal offer.

For Takeda, a merger with Shire could be transformative. Shire has a wide pipeline working in hematology, immunology, oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases, among others.

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