Drugs maker Shire has caved in to a fifth takeover approach from Japan’s Takeda.
The rare diseases specialist and maker of attention deficit drug Adderall is willing to recommend the £46billion bid to shareholders.
It caps a dramatic few weeks after the Japanese rival made its first offer of £41billion and repeatedly returned, despite being rebuffed.
Foreign takeover: Shire, which makes the attention deficit drug Adderall, said it was willing to recommend Takeda’s £46bn bid to shareholders
A bidding war looked likely when Allergan expressed an interest, but it retreated quickly.
Takeda has been determined to get its hands on Shire, which will give it global dominance in lucrative rare diseases and help it break out of its declining home market.
If the deal goes ahead it would mark a stunning outcome for Shire little more than 30 years after it started life above an off-licence in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
It has rapidly expanded into one of Britain’s pharmaceutical stars, employing around 24,000 worldwide, and moving to Dublin in 2008 due to its low rates of corporation tax.
The latest offer from Takeda values Shire at around £49 per share – the equivalent of £27.26 in Takeda shares and £21.75 in cash.
Shire shareholders would own around 50pc of the combined group, with new shares to be listed in the US and Japan.
Takeda shares fell amid concerns over its ability to buy a firm more than twice its size, making the deal less appealing to Shire shareholders.
Shire shares fell by 2.8 per cent, to 3820p, signalling scepticism about the offer.