Shire Sells Oncology Business To Servier For USD2.4 Billion (ALLISS)

Shire are displayed at a chemist's in northwest London Britain

Shire (Dublin, Ireland) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its oncology business to Servier (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) for $2.4 billion.

The oncology unit sale is expected to close in the second or third quarter of the year and Shire boss Flemming Ornskov said the firm would "consider returning the proceeds of the sale to shareholders through a shareholder-approved share buyback after the current offer period regarding Takeda's possible offer for Shire concludes".

In addition, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd is still now in the process of considering approaching Shire with an offer to acquire the group, after Nikkei reported earlier in April that Takeda could value Shire at USD55 billion.

It said last month that a potential transaction with Shire presented an opportunity to create a "truly global, value-based Japanese biopharmaceutical leader", strengthening its core oncology, gastrointestinal and neuroscience offerings. Takeda declined to comment further on Monday.

Shire also had debt of around $19 billion as of the end of 2017.

IMO adopts plan to halve shipping GHG emissions by 2050
Commenting on the agreement, Maersk Line said it was "pushing for stronger targets" but that the deal was still a 'great step'.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said last week that Takeda had sounded out its major creditors for loans to fund a potential Shire bid.

Shares in Shire (LON:SHP) have advanced in London this morning as the London-listed rare disease specialist offloaded its oncology business for $2.4 billion.

Takeda said earlier this year that it might make an offer for Shire to beef up its core therapeutic areas.

Shire has a track record of acquisitions, but its biggest ever deal - the $32 billion purchase of Baxalta in 2016 - was widely criticised by shareholders and has left it struggling to handle debt and integrate its various businesses. The portfolio also includes Calaspargase Pegol (Cal-PEG), which is under FDA review for the treatment of ALL, and early stage immuno-oncology pipeline collaborations.

Last year, Shire's revenues doubled following the takeover to 3.57 billion United States dollars (£2.52 billion), the bulk of which came from the Baxalta business.

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