November 12, 2018 / 8:07 AM / a month ago

Takeda sets vote date, aims to close $62 bln Shire deal Jan. 8

LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical will seek investor backing for its $62 billion acquisition of London-listed Shire next month and aims to close the deal on Jan. 8, the Japanese drugmaker said on Monday.

The deal would be the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company. It needs two-thirds support from shareholders, some of whom are worried about the enlarged company’s resulting debt burden.

Takeda said it would hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders to vote on the purchase on Dec. 5.

The transaction is still awaiting approval from European regulators, although two people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that Takeda was now set to win conditional EU antitrust approval.

The takeover has already secured clearance from regulators in the United States, Japan, China and Brazil.

Chief Executive Christophe Weber said last week he was confident of securing investor backing for the purchase of Shire — a rare diseases specialist — but until now it has not been clear when exactly Takeda would call its EGM.

Takeda, which has a market value of around $32 billion, has secured a $30.9 billion bridge loan to help finance the Shire acquisition and some investors are concerned as to how well it will cope with debt repayments.

The Japanese company struck its agreement to take over Shire in May, in a deal that will propel it into the top 10 rankings of global drugmakers by sales. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely)

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