Japanese drug maker Takeda agrees to buy Ireland's Shire


TOKYO (AP) — Japanese drugmaker Takeda has agreed to buy Shire Plc for 46 billion pounds ($62.4 billion) in cash and stock — one of the biggest deals ever in the pharmaceuticals industry, the companies said in statements Tuesday.

Takeda will pay the equivalent of 49.01 pounds in cash and stock for each share of Shire, based on Takeda’s closing share price on April 23, the day before a preliminary deal was announced.

Shire gives Takeda a larger presence in the U.S. and expertise in rare diseases, an increasingly important area for pharmaceutical companies. Even though Shire’s headquarters are in Dublin, it has large operations in the U.S., where it earns more than two thirds of its revenue.

The deal recognizes “the strong growth potential of our leading products and innovative pipeline,” Shire Chairman Susan Kilsby said.

Responding to investor concern about the deal, Takeda pledged to quickly reduce its debt and maintain the company’s investment grade credit reading. The company obtained a $31 billion bridge loan to help finance the deal.

“Shire’s highly complementary product portfolio and pipeline, as well as experienced employees, will accelerate our transformation for a stronger Takeda,” Christophe Weber, Takeda’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Takeda and Shire shareholders will each own about 50 percent of the merged company. The company will trade in Japan and New York.

The companies expect to complete the deal in the first half of 2019.

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