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Takeda makes fourth offer to buy Shire

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The Japanese company is offering the equivalent of 49 pounds ($68.55) a share, including 27.26 pounds in stock and 21.75 pounds in cash, Shire said in the statement.

Any deal is subject to the resolution of several issues, including completion of due diligence by Shire on Takeda, the Dublin-based company said. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an "outperform" rating and issued a GBX 4,000 ($55.79) price target on shares of Shire in a report on Monday, March 5th.

Takeda wants Shire, a specialist in the treatment of rare conditions, to help it expand its global interests - particularly in the USA - as it faces down the prospect of weaker drug prices in its home market. It represents a 58 percent premium to where Shire shares closed on March 23, the day before media reports of a possible bid.

However, that deadline can be moved back at the request of the FTSE 100 drugmaker and Takeda had said on Friday that it hoped negotiations with Shire would lead to an extension of the cut-off date. The Japanese company last week raised its offer to 47 pounds a share and lifted the cash portion of the bid after three prior proposals were rejected.

It would significantly boost Takeda's position in gastrointestinal disorders, neuroscience, and rare diseases, including a blockbuster hemophilia franchise.

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Among 14 analysts covering Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG), 11 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 3 Hold. A deal would also likely signal a further wrenching reorganization for local Shire staffers, who have been through repeated revamping under CEO Flemming Ornskov while Takeda has spent much of the past two years restructuring and cutting research.

"Takeda's shares have been valued for their stability and relatively high dividend", said Daiwa Securities analyst Kazuaki Hashiguchi, adding this made them attractive even to investors without specialist knowledge of the drug sector. Takeda has declined about 24 percent this year, valuing the firm at about $35 billion.

Shire has always been seen as a likely takeover target.

The companies now have until May 8 under an extended deadline to thrash out the finer points of the deal and while Takeda kicks the tyres at Shire before its board gives final approval. If the takeover occurs, then it would be one of the biggest acquisitions in the sector.

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