Takeda to hold key shareholder vote on £46bn Shire deal in December

Japanese drugs firm Takeda will hold an investor vote on its £46 billion acquisition of Shire next month amid aims to complete the mega deal in early January.

Takeda has set the date for the extraordinary general meeting on December 5 and said it hopes to complete the takeover on January 8, subject to two-thirds approval from shareholders and the European Commission.

Shire’s London-listed shares rose 2% to £47.15 each, having at one stage hit a high of £47.80 following the news.

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: “The acquisition of Shire will accelerate our strategic transformation to create a stronger, more global and more competitive company with the financial strength to continue investing in delivering highly innovative medicines and transformative care to patients around the world.

“With the date of our extraordinary general meeting of shareholders now set, we are looking forward to continuing our dialogue with shareholders regarding the compelling strategic and financial benefits of this transaction.”

The vote comes as some Takeda shareholders worry 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.

The deal still needs approval from the European Commission, which expects to announce its decision by November 20.

Takeda said it will 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.

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