Takeda Offers About $60 Billion for Shire, Reuters Says

(Bloomberg) -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. offered to buy drugmaker Shire Plc for about 42.4 billion pounds ($60 billion), officially kicking off what would be one of the biggest corporate takeovers ever by a Japanese company, Reuters reported.

Takeda is said to have offered 46.50 pounds a share for Shire in a deal that would give Japan’s biggest drugmaker a broader global reach. Takeda would gain new assets in gastrointestinal diseases and nervous-system ailments, and key treatments that are in the late stages of testing. The possible offer comes after Shire agreed on Monday to sell its cancer unit to France’s Servier SAS for $2.4 billion.

Shire shares, which are listed in London, surged as much as 7.6 percent after the report, which cited unidentified sources.

A Takeda spokeswoman declined to comment.

Takeda’s reported offer comes amid a flurry of transactions in the pharmaceutical sector, marked by GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s $13 billion agreement last month to buy out Novartis AG’s stake in the two companies’ consumer-health joint venture. Merck KGaA has agreed to sell its over-the-counter unit to Procter & Gamble Co. for $4.2 billion, while Sanofi plans to sell its European generic-drug business to buyout firm Advent International Corp.

Takeda has been ramping up its takeover ambitions under Chief Executive Officer Christophe Weber, as the company seeks growth overseas amid patent expirations and a shrinking domestic population. Its largest purchase to date was a $13.7 billion takeover of Nycomed A/S in 2011. Last year, the company expanded its footprint in the U.S. oncology market with the $4.7 billion purchase of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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