Takeda said that China’s State Administration for Market Regulation has granted unconditional approval of its proposed $62-billion purchase of Shire. The Japanese drugmaker expects to complete the transaction in the first half of next year.
China’s regulatory clearance “is another key step in the transaction process,” Takeda stated, but “the acquisition remains subject to a number of conditions, including receipt of other regulatory clearances and approval by the shareholders of both companies.”
The transaction received unconditional clearance by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in July, with Takeda later confirming that Brazilian regulators had also approved the deal. A group of Takeda shareholders has criticized the planned merger over concerns about debt, but failed to receive backing for a measure that would have forced Takeda to receive advance shareholder approval for large acquisitions.
Takeda is said to be considering divesting certain assets, including Shire’s eye-care business, after completing the purchase in a bid to reduce debt, while CEO Christophe Weber has already acknowledged that large spending cuts would be required to ensure the deal remains viable without affecting innovation. The Japanese drugmaker also recently said it intends to move its US headquarters from Illinois to Massachusetts after completing the planned Shire takeover.