Japan’s Takeda eyes takeover of Shire

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical said Wednesday it is considering buying Ireland-based drugmaker Shire as part of its attempts to boost overseas acquisitions.

“Takeda confirms that it is considering making an approach to Shire regarding a possible offer for the company,” the company said in a statement.

“Takeda’s consideration of such an offer is at a preliminary and exploratory stage and no approach has been made to the board of Shire.”

The planned bid would strengthen its global position in drugs to fight cancer and combat gastrointestinal and nervous-system diseases, it added.

The news boosted Shire shares in London by more than 17 percent.

Last year Takeda bought US cancer drugmaker Ariad Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion.

Japanese drugmakers are facing pressure in their home market as the government tries to cut prices of many branded medicines and put greater focus on cheaper generics to rein in health spending as the population ages rapidly.

Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, has been actively looking overseas. In 2011 it took over Swiss rival Nycomed for 9.6 billion euros (then $13.6 billion).

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