Takeda and Shire shareholders back £46bn drugs takeover

Takeda sign Image copyright Reuters

Japanese drugs giant Takeda's £46bn ($59bn) takeover of Irish pharmaceuticals firm Shire has been approved by both sets of shareholders.

The acquisition, the largest by a Japanese company, propels Takeda into the world's top 10 list of biggest pharmaceutical companies.

Shire shareholders met in Dublin to approve the deal. Takeda investors gave the green light earlier in the day.

Some Takeda investors objected over fears it will increase the firm's debt.

The votes to approve the takeover follow a long-running battle in which Takeda made multiple offers for Shire.

On Tuesday, Kazuhisa Takeda, a member of the firm's founding family, spoke out against the deal over concerns with the level of debt it would add to Takeda.

Takeda plans to finance the takeover via the issue of new shares in exchange for Shire stock, bank loans and bonds.

The takeover is part of Takeda's strategy to become a global pharmaceutical company. The firm wanted to buy Shire to strengthen its cancer, stomach and brain drug portfolios.

But one of its potentially lucrative treatments will have to be sold off at the direction of European regulators over competition concerns.

"We are delighted that our shareholders have given their strong support to our acquisition of Shire," said Takeda chief executive Christophe Weber after the investor vote in Osaka.

Shire was founded in the UK, but moved its corporate headquarters to Dublin a decade ago. It has 24,000 employees in 65 countries.

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