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Whisky and Apologies Aided Takeda's $62 Billion Shire Gamble

  • A leak before Easter almost brought process to premature end
  • Takeda was named Yamazaki, Shire as Hibiki in secret talks
The Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. logo is displayed outside the company's Osaka plant in Osaka, Japan.

The Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. logo is displayed outside the company's Osaka plant in Osaka, Japan.

Photographer: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg
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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s ambitions for expansion in the lucrative U.S. health-care market led the Japanese drugmaker to begin a painstaking examination of Shire Plc’s assets more than two years prior to striking a $62 billion deal.

In particular, Shire’s neuroscience unit and its gastrointestinal products sparked Takeda’s interest. One hurdle, though, gave them pause: The steep purchase price.