A staple of consumer magazines and tabloid newspapers involves coverage of celebrity relationships – who has been seen together? Who is dating? Will they become a permanent item? And are they going to live happily ever after? Readers can’t seem to get enough of it. Interestingly, while maybe not so racy as the celebrity goings-on, pharma industry watchers are keen to follow company couplings. Talk of mergers and acquisitions, one of the ways that companies can build scale, always attracts attention.
Which are the most eligible companies for combination? Who are the most likely suitors? More importantly, are they the most suitable? Why do they think they need to pair up? Will they achieve the goals they think combination will bring them?
Our coverage of Takeda’s acquisition of Shire highlights the twists and turns of such activity. First, there were rumors that Takeda was interested in expanding its global and therapeutic footprint. When Shire was identified as a potential target, there were questions as to whether this was in its best interests – it had been struggling to digest and get the benefits from its acquisition of Baxalta – would its stakeholders be best served with another mega deal? And if so, would Takeda be the best partner or would other companies try to muscle in and steal a march on the Japanese major?
When Takeda emerged as the only real bidder there were then questions about what it would have to do to get Shire shareholders to accept its offer. There was also the opportunity to discuss the merits of such a deal and who else might be affected should they join up – shareholders, employees, existing and potential partners -- and what it might mean for the global pharma industry. Once the engagement was announced, we were able to pore over the details of the bid. Did people think Takeda was paying too much? Was Shire selling itself too cheaply? What would a combined company look like? And what might the enlarged combination look like in the coming years?
With highly experienced commentators and journalists, posted across the globe, we are able to look at these events through multiple lenses and provide genuine insights into their potential consequences. We have provided you with a selection of the content we published tracking the whole courtship. We will also continue, with great interest, our coverage as the deal is consummated and the new entity strives to capture the benefits it foresaw, providing commentary and context as to how well it does.