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Takeda Pharmaceutical (TKPYY) overnight confirmed that it is considering making an approach to Shire (SHPG) regarding a possible offer for the company.

“Takeda’s consideration of such an offer is at a preliminary and exploratory stage and no approach has been made to the Board of Shire. There can be no certainty that an approach if made, will lead to any transaction,” Takeda said in a statement. It added that it “continuously considers various options aiming to accelerate its growth, focusing on prioritized therapeutic areas of gastroenterology, oncology, and neuroscience plus vaccines.” Takeda believes a potential transaction with Shire presents an opportunity to advance its “stated Vision 2025, build on its current strong momentum, and create a truly global, value-based Japanese biopharmaceutical leader.” Takeda must by no later than 5.00 p.m. on April 25, either announce a firm intention to make an offer, subject to conditions or pre-conditions if relevant, for Shire or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, according to takeover rules.

Shares of Shire are up 18%, or $23.41, to $152.28 in premarket trading.

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