Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced Tuesday that it has received unconditional clearance from the United States Federal Trade Commission for its proposed acquisition of Shire plc.
Shire is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on neuroscience, rare diseases, gastrointestinal, internal, and regenerative medicine.
Japan-based Takeda’s network spans across 70 countries and regions worldwide, including in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific Region. Its pharmaceutical products are marketed in some 100 countries worldwide, including through select marketing partnerships.
The FTC’s unconditional clearance is a significant step in the proposed acquisition, which was announced on May 8. Takeda will pay roughly £46 billion ($62 billion) for Shire in a deal expected to officially close in the first half of 2019.
See “Takeda To Buy Shire For $62.2 Billion,” Catherine Sbeglia, PharmPro.com
To help finance the deal, the company received a $31 billion bridge loan, alarming some investors. However, at the time Takeda announced their intention to reduce the debt quickly.
“One of the biggest steps Takeda has to go through is getting approval from their shareholders, and the fact that they got approval from the U.S. will help convince shareholders about the deal,” Kyouko Amemiya, senior market adviser at SBI Securities Co., told Bloomberg.
In announcing the proposed acquisition of Shire on May 8, Christophe Weber, Takeda CEO, said the move will accelerate Takeda growth, targeting gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare disease, and plasma-derived therapies. The deal is expected to cut Takeda R&D costs by about $600 million, with overall savings of $1.4 billion by the third year.
In August 2017, Shire announced that it was conducting a strategic review of its neuroscience business. Following the first stage of the review, the company board concluded that the neuroscience business warranted additional focus and investment and that there was a strong business rationale for creating two distinct business divisions within Shire: a Rare Disease division and a Neuroscience division.
The Rare Disease division has a global manufacturing footprint across 14 sites with a focus on biologics. Its infrastructure includes plasma donation centers, a plasma processing and fractionation network, and antibody development facilities. The Neuroscience division features a lean manufacturing model extensively involving contract manufacturing partnerships.
The second stage of Shire’s neuroscience review is expected to continue an evaluation of “all strategic alternatives for the Neuroscience division, including the merits of an independent listing.” The company told investors it plans to give an update on the second stage in the second half of 2018.
The acquisition remains subject to a number of conditions, including receipt of other regulatory clearances and approval by the shareholders of both companies. If completed, Takeda would become the world’s eighth-largest drugmaker with sales estimated at $30 billion.