The Japanese firm stalking drugs giant Shire could launch a ‘credible offer’ and win support from shareholders within weeks, analysts said last night.
A £40 billion bid from Takeda could create the seventh biggest pharmaceuticals firm in the world, sources said.
The deal is part of Takeda chief executive Christophe Weber’s bid to create a global behemoth to rival the likes of Pfizer, Roche, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. Analysts said Takeda was increasingly ‘bullish’, despite declaring its interest was at an ‘exploratory stage’ 11 days ago.
Bitter pill to swallow: The deal is part of Takeda chief executive Christophe Weber’s bid to create a global behemoth
City analysts said an opening offer of more than £40 a share would be enough to ‘raise investor interest’. Shares in Shire closed at £37.52. Any offer must be posted with the London Stock Exchange by 5pm on April 25.
‘They are clearly very serious and the tone out of Japan is more bullish than I would have anticipated when the bid first emerged at the end of last month,’ said Wimal Kapadia, a pharmaceuticals analyst at Sanford C Bernstein.
‘I think there is a good chance you will see a very credible offer.’
He said the firm may be able to avoid taking on too much debt by selling new shares in Tokyo to fund the acquisition.
Shire’s share price stagnated after it bought rare disease specialist Baxalta in 2016. City sources said Shire chief executive Flemming Ornskov may struggle to fend off a determined effort by Takeda to buy the business, which was trading at less than £30 a share two weeks ago.