Tokyo (AFP) – Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda said Thursday it had made a takeover bid worth £42 billion ($60 billion) for Ireland’s Shire Group but that its offer was rejected.
“Takeda was subsequently notified that the board of Shire had rejected its proposal. Discussions between the parties regarding a potential offer are ongoing,” the Japanese firm said in a statement.
The offer, which Takeda said was made on April 12 was for £46.50 per share, making the bid worth a total of £42 billion.
Shire shares soared on the London Stock Exchange when rumours of the deal emerged earlier Thursday.
Takeda said in late March that it was “considering” making a possible approach for the Ireland-based drugmaker.
The planned bid would strengthen Takeda’s global position in drugs to fight cancer and combat gastrointestinal and nervous-system diseases, Takeda said at the time.
The news comes amid a flurry of takeover and acquisition activity in the pharmaceutical industry, at a time when traditional players are seeing profits eroded by competition from generic medicine.
Japanese drugmakers in particular are facing pressure in the 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).
However, some analysts are concerned that a takeover bid of this magnitude could put pressure on Takeda’s own finances.