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Business deals

Takeda alumni question Shire purchase in open letter

Japanese drugmaker challenged on plans to pay back debt

Leading Japanese drugmaker Takeda has agreed to buy peer Shire, which has a bigger market capitalization.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A group of Takeda Pharmaceutical stakeholders including retired managers skeptical about its pending $62 billion purchase of Irish drug developer Shire sent the Japanese company's president an open letter requesting more transparency on the megadeal.

The letter to President Christophe Weber, whose contents were revealed Wednesday, amounted to a questionnaire probing Japan's largest drugmaker for a more detailed explanation of its plans to pay back the debt that will finance the acquisition. The shareholders also asked Takeda to further justify the 65% premium for Shire, publicize minutes of board meetings along with statements by executives, and address other acquisition targets.

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