FTSE 100 biotech firm faces takeover interest

By James Sillars, Business Reporter
Shares in FTSE 100 pharma firm Shire have surged on news it is facing the prospect of a takeover, almost four years after a ?32bn deal fell apart.
Japanese rival Takeda confirmed it was mulling a bid for the Dublin-based company, which specialises in treatments for rare diseases and neuroscience products.
Takeda said in a statement that buying Shire would enhance its research and development and bolster its presence in the US market.But it added that its interest was "at a preliminary and exploratory stage" and said no approach has been made to the board of Shire.The announcement helped its shares, which have struggled over the past year, gain more than 20%.Shire's market value, which had been hovering just above €28bn, shot up to almost €34bn.Some of the fizz came off the rally later, but Shire still ended Wednesday's session 14% higher.The company agreed a €32bn deal to be taken over by US rival AbbVie in 2014 only for the Americans to pull out after the White House, under President Obama, closed tax loopholes it was looking to exploit.
It spent just shy of that sum on a takeover of its own in 2016 - buying US-based Baxalta - though Sky News reported last October on how Shire had come under pressure to grow value for investors.It responded to the development with a statement saying: Shire plc notes the announcement by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited that it is considering making an approach to Shire regarding a possible offer for the company."Shire confirms that it has not received an approach from Takeda."There can be no certainty that any firm offer for the company will be made nor as to the terms on which any firm offer might be made."
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Takeda has been expanding overseas to compensate for slowing growth at home.Last year it bought Massachussetts-based Ariad Pharmaceuticals.
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