Japan pharma giant Takeda to buy Shire for $62B

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals has announced it will acquire Shire, an Ireland-based drug company, for $62 billion, making Takeda one of the 10 largest pharma firms in the world.

According to Bloomberg, the companies’ combined revenue will be $31.2 billion, placing it just above AbbVie in the ranks of the biggest international drug companies. It was the culmination of a six-week negotiation with Takeda making five bids before reaching an agreement with Shire.

“The two combined create a rich pipeline in all stages—early and late stage, which is very important," Takeda CEO Christophe Weber told analysts and reporters. “We are in a good momentum and in a strong position.”

The acquisition will add Shire drugs like Adderall, a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and lucrative therapies for rare diseases to Takeda’s portfolio. It will also give Takeda a greater presence in the U.S., as more than two-thirds of Shire’s revenue comes from North America—well above Takeda’s 30 percent.

The risk for Takeda comes from the debt it’s assuming to afford the deal. It secured a $31 billion bridge loan with several banks, including JPMorgan Chase, with S&P Global Ratings quickly warning it may downgrade Takeda’s credit rating two notches due to the additional debt.

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