Takeover talks between Takeda Pharmaceutical and Shire have been escalating, with Shire executives now willing to recommended the latest offer to its shareholders.
Shire, the maker of dry eye drug Xiidra, said on Wednesday it was willing to recommend a sweetened $64 billion (46 billion pounds) offer from Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical to shareholders. Such a deal would mark the biggest acquisition of a drug company this year. The latest offer represents a 4.3 percent premium to Takeda’s fourth proposal on April 20, and an 11.4 percent premium to its first offer on March 29.
Shire said its board agreed to extend the April 25 regulatory deadline to May 8th so Takeda can conduct more due diligence and firm up its bid.
If a deal is reached, it would boost Takeda’s position in gastrointestinal disorders, neuroscience, and rare diseases. It would also provide Takeda a presence in ophthalmology. Shire received FDA approval for Xiidra in 2016, and has additional ophthalmic product candidates in its pipeline in conjunctivitis, dry eye, and glaucoma.
Last week, it was reported that Allergan, the maker of Restasis and a direct competitor of Shire, was in competing negotiations with Shire after the latest rejection of Takeda’s takeover offer. However, Allergan has since confirmed that it does not intend to make an offer for Shire at this time.