Shire shares rise as Takeda sweetens the deal with a last ditch pitch

Oliver Gill
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Today's approach for Shire will be Takeda's fifth (Source: Getty)

Japanese pharmaceuticals giant Takeda today made a fresh approach for London-listed rival Shire, with a deadline for a firm offer due to expire later tomorrow.

While monetary terms were not disclosed, Shire shares rose almost six per cent with investors expecting Takeda’s fifth approach to be sweeter than the £44bn cash and shares offer tabled with Shire’s board on 20 April.

Under UK takeover rules, Takeda has until 5pm on Wednesday to submit a firm approach to shareholders.

Shire said its board was considering its position and stressed there is no certainty a firm offer will be forthcoming. The Irish-headquartered firm initially made the announcement unilaterally around lunchtime before Takeda confirmed it later in the day.

Read more: Just what the doctor ordered? Takeda has upped its offer for Shire again

Last week, Botox maker Allergan attempted to gatecrash Takeda’s pursuit of Shire with its own offer. Under the same takeover rules, Allergan has until 17 May to make a formal approach to shareholders. In a bizarre U-turn, Allergan ruled itself out just hours after revealing an interest in the FTSE 100 firm.

Shire has so far rejected Takeda’s approaches in what would be the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese company. Tomorrow’s 5pm deadline can be extended by Shire’s board – something Takeda said last Friday it hoped would happen.

“As of now we can only say that discussions between the advisers of Shire and Takeda are ongoing,” Shire chair Susan Kilsby said at the firm’s annual general meeting today.

Read more: A possible bidding war is looming for Shire as Allergan mulls an offer