Shire rejects "undervalued" Takeda bid

London skyline

The biotech put out a statement Thursday afternoon in an abrupt about-face - after watching its shares drop 7% - saying that it "does not intend to make an offer for Shire".

The potential interest from Allergan comes as a surprise, Leerink analyst Etzer Darout said in a note to clients.

Shire said in a separate statement that it had rejected a total of three proposals from Takeda, including the latest approach that was confirmed on Thursday.

Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, has been actively looking overseas for acquisitions.

Shire plc, a biotechnology company, focused on serving people with rare diseases and other specialized conditions worldwide.

But Shire just may be able to squeeze more out of a suitor.

Saunders "was a huge deal guy and everyone was kind of waiting for the next big deal", said Kevin Kedra, an analyst with Gabelli & Co, which holds shares of both Allergan and Shire. At the time of publication, Allergan was trading down 6.55 percent.


Takeda said it would remain disciplined in its approach and meant to maintain its dividend policy and investment grade credit rating, adding that: "Discussions between the parties regarding a potential offer are ongoing". The first valued Shire at up to £44.00 per share, the second was £45.60 and the third was £46.50.

When Allergan originally said it was considering making an offer, it explained that its interest in Shire was part of the company "evaluating a full range of potential strategic actions" to create value for shareholders.

However, Shire suggested it would be willing to consider an improved offer: "At the board's request Shire's advisers entered into a dialogue with Takeda's advisers to discuss whether a further, more attractive, proposal may be forthcoming and to understand the basis on which such a proposal would be made".

It is not clear whether Allergan has submitted an offer, and there is no certainty of a bid, the sources said.

The second bid on April 11 valued Shire at £43 billion, with shareholders in the UK-based firm owning 51% of the enlarged Takeda.

Just this week, Merck KGaA agreed to sell its over-the-counter unit to Procter & Gamble Co. for $4.2 billion, Sanofi said it would sell its European generic-drug business to buyout firm Advent International Corp. and Shire agreed to sell its cancer unit to France's Servier SAS for $2.4 billion.

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