Shareholders of Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda overwhelmingly voted in favor of acquiring UK-based Shire. The deal, currently valued at about $58 billion dollars, makes Takeda a top 10 global drugmaker by sales.
Takeda shareholders on Wednesday voted 88 percent in favor in of thee acquisition, above the two-thirds needed, ending a 9-month campaign by Takeda executives to secure the votes. Separately on Wednesday, Shire shareholders backed the deal with almost 100% of votes in favor.
As part of the deal, Takeda has taken out a $30.85 billion bridge loan, leading some investors to question how the level of debt needed to fund the purchase will be repaid. Reports from several news outlets indicated that Takeda may be considering cutting ties with Shire’s eye care business, which includes dry eye drug Xiidra, in order to cut debt once the merger deal has been signed.
Takeda previously told Eyewiretoday.com that is would consider selected divestitures of non-core businesses, but would not comment on specific products.
“We cannot comment on rumors about divestments. As part of our ongoing business development initiatives, we will consider selected divestitures of non-core businesses. This will support our intention to deleverage quickly following closing, while also simplifying our operations and freeing up resources to invest in R&D,” according to Takeda
To pay off the debt, Takeda CEO Christophe Weber said the company is aiming for $1.4 billion in savings within 3 years and plans to cut about 7% of the combined workforce, or around 3,600 employees.
Regulators in thee U.S., China, Japan and Europe have all granted approval of the deal, allowing the deal to move forward without roadblacks. Takeda expects to close the deal on Jan. 8th, 2019.