Takeda to review Shire’s Irish interests after takeover

By Geoff Percival

The Irish operations of international drug firm, Shire, will be reviewed within the first year of new ownership, should Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical buy it.

Both companies have significant operations in Ireland. Shire — headquartered here for tax purposes — employs 400 people across its Dublin head office and a manufacturing site in Co Meath; and plans to double that number in the next couple of years. Takeda has had an Irish presence for 15 years and employs 500 people at facilities in Dublin and Wicklow.

Yesterday, Takeda announced that it had agreed to buy Shire for $62bn (€52.3bn), in the biggest of a wave of deals sweeping the drugs industry.

Assuming it wins the backing of shareholders, the deal will be the largest overseas purchase by a Japanese company and will propel Takeda, led by Frenchman, Christophe Weber, into the top-ten rankings of global drugmakers. The transaction is expected to be completed towards the middle of 2019.

The deal, struck on the last day Takeda had to make a concrete bid, is 46% cash and 54% stock, leaving Shire shareholders owning around half of the combination. It will also make Takeda one of the most indebted drugmakers.

Shire had rejected four previous offers, due to price concerns and the fact that the Japanese company is proposing to pay for much of the acquisition in stock.

To pay off debts quickly, Takeda plans to slash thousands of jobs and cut back on duplicated drug research.

A Shire spokesperson said: “Unless, and until, the transaction is completed, there will be no material changes to Shire’s business, as a result of [this] announcement.”

The organisation and locations of the combined company will become clearer during the integration process. Within the first year following the transaction, Takeda will commence a review of the functions to be undertaken at Shire’s headquarters in Dublin.

The enlarged group will be a leader in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare diseases and blood-derived therapies, used for serious conditions such as haemophilia.

Additional reporting Reuters

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