Shire added that the deadline could be extended further, if needed.
Takeda wants Shire, a specialist in the treatment of rare conditions, to help it expand its global interests - particularly in the U.S. - as it faces down the prospect of weaker drug prices in its home market. The new offer of £49/share (up 4% from Friday's £47/share, up 11% from initial bid) comprises £21.75 cash, with the remaining £27.26 in newly issued Takeda shares.
But Takeda's offers have steadily increased over the past month and the latest bid is 4% above the prior cash offer, investment banking firm Jefferies published this morning. This is also the first time that Shire's board suggested a willingness to recommend any of the recent proposals.
At first glance, the mild-mannered Weber might not seem the most likely choice to orchestrate the biggest overseas acquisition in Japanese history. And the shareholders of each company will have the final say.
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Shire's share price has been subdued in London in today's session following yesterday's rally, having given up 0.87 percent to 3,896.00p as of 10:04 BST.
It would significantly boost Takeda's position in gastrointestinal disorders, neuroscience, and rare diseases, including a blockbuster haemophilia franchise. Ambitious cost cutting is also seen as necessary to make the deal pay.
The Japan-based company said that it believes this proposal represents a "highly compelling opportunity" for Shire shareholders.
Takeda raised its offers to approximately £43 billion (about $60 billion), then approximately £44 billion ($61 billion), followed by a slightly higher but still approximately £44 billion ($61 billion) proposal on Friday. It said on Wednesday it meant to maintain its dividend policy and investment-grade credit rating following the deal.
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Dealmaking has surged in the drug industry this year as large players look for promising assets to improve their pipelines.
A bid for Shire, whose drugs include Adderall - a treatment for deficit hyperactivity disorder - follows a series of worldwide acquisitions by the Japanese drug-maker as it seeks to make up for a slowing domestic market and take its place on the global stage among the largest pharma firms, including Pfizer. In longer term, Shire believes its sales could reach between $17 billion and $18 billion in 2020. Shire was also almost bought by USA drugmaker AbbVie Inc in 2014, until United States tax rule changes caused the deal to fall apart.
Weber has also been proactive in chasing down cross-border deals, announcing the $5.20-billion purchase of US cancer drug maker Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. past year and Belgian biotech group TiGenix NV in January as it tries to rebuild its drug pipeline.
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