Takeda and Shire announced that shareholders will vote on December 5 on the companies’ proposed $62-billion merger, with the Japanese drugmaker targeting January 8, 2019 for closing of the deal. Takeda CEO Christophe Weber remarked “with the date of our extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders now set, we are looking forward to continuing our dialogue with shareholders regarding the compelling strategic and financial benefits of this transaction.”
Some Takeda investors have previously questioned how the level of debt needed to fund the purchase will be repaid. The Japanese company, which had earlier indicated that the EGM would be held in early 2019, needs support from two-thirds of its shareholders for the transaction.
Takeda has received clearance for the purchase from regulators in a number of countries, including China, Japan and the US, but is still awaiting approval in Europe. Last month, the Japanese drugmaker said that in order to gain European Commission approval for the deal, it may divest Shire’s experimental drug SHP647 after the regulator raised concerns over a potential future overlap in the area of inflammatory bowel disease between the drug and Takeda’s Entyvio (vedolizumab).
On Monday, Takeda said it has held discussions with the European Commission related to the matter, with a view to the regulator granting a Phase I conditional clearance for the acquisition and not initiating proceedings under Article 6(1)(c) of Council Regulation (EC) 139/2004. The European Commission is scheduled to issue its decision on the deal on or before November 20.