Japanese pharmaceutical firm Takeda has reached a takeover deal with Shire that values the firm at £46 billion.
The boards of both firms have finally agreed on the terms of the deal, settling on an offer of £49.01 per Shire share.
Takeda said it represents a premium of around 64% compared with the price of its shares in late March, when rumours of Takeda’s interest began to swirl.
It ends weeks of wrangling, with a string of previous offers having been rejected by the Irish firm.
Shire chairwoman Susan Kilsby said: “We firmly believe that this combination recognises the strong growth potential of our leading products and innovative pipeline and is in the best interests of our shareholders, our patients and the communities we serve.”
Takeda has agreed that up to three Shire directors will join the company’s board once the acquisition is completed.
The takeover is set to come into effect in the first half of 2019.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approvals as well as to the approval of Shire and Takeda shareholders, though Shire directors “intend to recommend unanimously” that its investors vote in favour of the acquisition.
Takeda said it will launch a “review of the functions undertaken” at Shire’s current headquarters in Dublin within the first year.
Shareholders of the two companies will split the holdings of the combined group, which will have its headquarters in Japan and be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
It also intends to put in place an NYSE-listed American Depositary Receipt programme at the point of completion to allow Shire shareholders to continue to hold stock in the combined company.
The Japanese company has said the tie-up will help realise the Japanese company’s R&D strategy, drive financial value and allow it to exploit further opportunities in the US.
Takeda president and chief executive Christophe Weber said: “Shire’s highly complementary product portfolio and pipeline, as well as experienced employees, will accelerate our transformation for a stronger Takeda.
“Together, we will be a leader in providing targeted treatments in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies.
“We are looking forward to the benefits this combination will bring to patients worldwide, the opportunities it will bring for our employees and the returns it will deliver for our shareholders.”
Takeda’s deal marks persistence by the Japanese firm, which tabled five offers by late April – one month after rumours of the deal hit headlines.
The firm, which was founded in 1781 and employs 30,000 people, has a strong presence in emerging markets and operates in more than 70 countries.