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Takeda’s Shareholders Agree to $58 Billion Shire Deal Despite Debt Fears

It's latest step in Takeda's long-running effort to buy Shire.Behrouz Mehri—AFP/Getty Images

The long-running saga that is Takeda’s proposed takeover of Adderall maker Shire is about to enter a new chapter, with the Japanese firm’s shareholders approving the deal.

On Wednesday, Takeda’s shareholders green-lit the issuance of new stock to fund the takeover, which is worth $58.3 billion at current rates. That’s despite opposition from some investors, notably former chair Kunio Takeda, who have been concerned about the debt level the company will assume.

The approval came at an extraordinary general meeting, with 88% of shareholders agreeing to the move—far above the 66% threshold that was required.

The deal, which should close next month, is the largest-ever international acquisition by a Japanese company. It will take Takeda into the global top 10 in the pharmaceuticals world. Ireland’s Shire will also give Takeda valuable expertise in the treatment of rare diseases such as hemophilia, and a way to tap into more of the valuable U.S. market. Indeed, the combined operation should make almost half its revenues in the U.S.

Takeda is worth around $30 billion and its new share issuance should bring in around $35 billion, according to Nikkei. The Japanese firm, which is more than two centuries old, will pay the rest in cash.

Takeda’s share price rose more than 1% in Wednesday’s trading, while Shire’s popped by 2.5%. It took several attempts for Takeda to convince Shire that the takeover was a good idea.