Shire share price outperforms as group offloads oncology business

Move comes as Takeda prepares bid for London-listed rare disease specialist

Shire share price outperforms as group offloads oncology business

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. The move comes as Japan’s Takeda prepares to bid for the FTSE 100 group.

As of 09:32 BST, Shire’s share price had added 0.65 percent to 3,630.00p. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and currently standing 0.24 percent lower at 7,246.98 points. Shire’s shares have lost a little over a fifth of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 1.1-percent drop in the Footsie.

Oncology business sale

Shire announced in a statement this morning that it had inked a deal with Servier to sell its oncology business for $2.4 billion.

“While the Oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, we have concluded that it is not core to Shire’s longer-term strategy,” the pharmco’s chief executive Flemming Ornskov commented in the statement, adding that the company would “continue to evaluate our portfolio for opportunities to unlock further value and sharpen our focus on rare disease leadership with selective disposals of non-strategic assets”.

Takeda boss to meet investors

The disposal comes amid takeover interest by Japan’s Takeda, which is thought to be moving closer to a bid for the London-listed Shire. The Telegraph reported over the weekend that the Japanese drugmaker’s boss Christophe Weber was understood to be lining up meetings with its major holders ahead of making a potential offer for the UK group.

Its top five investors include US-based Blackrock, Capital Group and JP Morgan. City sources told The Sunday Telegraph that Takeda was understood to be considering splitting Shire and selling its neuroscience division to help finance the deal.

As of 10:04 BST, Monday, 16 April, Shire PLC share price is 3,645.50p.

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