Takeda clears crucial hurdle

Takeda Pharmaceutical has won shareholder approval for its $59bn (€52bn) takeover of Shire, creating a global powerhouse that has a stronger drugs pipeline but is also saddled with massive debt.

Takeda will be joining the ranks of the world’s top 10 drugmakers and gaining expertise in rare diseases through the deal, the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese company.

It will also become one of the most indebted. In addition to issuing new shares, the company has secured $30.9bn (€27bn) in bank loans. The high debt levels were a significant concern for Takeda shareholders who gathered at an extraordinary meeting in Osaka, western Japan, although almost 90pc of them voted to approve the deal as expected.

“I want to keep my Takeda shares into the future, but now I am worried about further declines in the share price,” said Satoshi Ito, a 75-year-old shareholder. He abstained from voting.

Separate meetings of Shire shareholders later yesterday also secured overwhelming support for the transaction.

Takeda shares have fallen around 25pc since the drugmaker revealed its interest in the acquisition in March. They closed up 1pc at 4,240 yen yesterday.

Shire shares gained 3.2pc to £46.95 on due to relief Takeda’s board had won its nine-month battle to persuade shareholders of the merits of the tie-up.