Takeda sweetens $60 billion Shire pitch as rival bows out

This pharmacy offers 'slight degree of anonymity'
This pharmacy offers 'slight degree of anonymity'

Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda took a fourth try at buying Shire on Friday, less than 24 hours after a potential rival bidder ruled itself out of a tug-of-war for the biotech firm.

Takeda's (TKPYY) new offer of £42.9 billion ($60 billion) is only a tad higher than its third approach, which, like two previous proposals, was rebuffed by Shire (SHPG). But it could be more attractive since it includes more cash and less stock.

Dublin-based Allergan (AGN) said Thursday it was "in the early stages of considering a possible offer for Shire." Then later that day it had a change of heart, announcing that it did not intend to make an offer.

The back and forth between the companies caused gyrations in pharmaceutical stocks this week.

On Thursday, Shire's shares shot up by as much as 12% in London trading as investors hoped for a bidding war. They closed up nearly 6%, but were dipping on Friday

Allergan's stock in New York sank 4% on Thursday. Shares were flat on Friday.

Related: The next mega merger could be a $60 billion drug deal

Takeda's stock has taken a beating from talk of a blockbuster deal. Shares closed nearly 5% down in Tokyo on Friday.

Shire said on Thursday its board and management were "focused on fully evaluating internal and external opportunities to maximize value for shareholders, including any further proposals from Takeda."

It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new Takeda proposal on Friday.

If Takeda formally makes a takeover bid of $60 billion or more, it would be the biggest so far this year, according to data from Dealogic.

And if a takeover of that scale goes through, it would be the third biggest acquisition of a UK-traded company in history.

-- Alanna Petroff contributed to this report.

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