Takeda comes back with fifth offer for Shire

Takeda makes fourth offer to buy Shire

Takeda added that it wanted to reach an agreed deal with Shire and extend an April 25 deadline imposed by the British regulator for a firm offer.

Takeda Pharmaceuticalis nearing a preliminary agreement to acquire Shire after the Japanese drugmaker sweetened its roughly $60 billion bid for the biotechnology company, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Takeda issued a similar statement confirming that an offer had been made, but again with minimal details.

Shire's board said it is "considering its position", and stressed that there was no guarantee on any firm offer.

The Japanese drugmaker said it and Shire extended the deadline for talks on the acquisition to May 8.

The new proposal marks at least the fifth attempt by Takeda to woo Shire since it first expressed interest in a takeover less than four weeks ago.

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Shire said it was considering the latest proposal after rejecting three previous offers from Takeda. It specializes in medicines for rare diseases, as well as the ADHD drug Adderall.

Last Friday, Takeda had lifted its cash and stock bid to the equivalent of £47 per share. The exact terms of the offer couldn't be immediately learned.

By acquiring Shire, known for its strength in medicines for rare diseases, Takeda aims to counter overseas rivals, banking on Shire's strength in the key US market.

Takeda believes the new proposal represents "a highly compelling opportunity for Shire shareholders, which reflects a further increase in value and a material increase in the cash component of the consideration mix".

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