Japan's Takeda gains U.S. approval for $62 billion Shire buy

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd on Tuesday said it has received U.S. approval for its $62 billion acquisition of London-listed Shire Plc, taking the Japanese firm one step closer to its goal of becoming a global top 10 drugmaker.

Takeda in a press release said it received unconditional clearance from the United States Federal Trade Commission.

The Tokyo-listed firm is still awaiting approval from regulators in China, the European Union and elsewhere, as well from shareholders of both parties.

Chief Executive Christophe Weber has been working to persuade investors about the deal’s cost-saving merits. However, concerns of the financial burden the combined company will carry has weighed heavily on Takeda’s stock price.

Takeda shares closed flat on Tuesday ahead of the announcement. The stock is down 16 percent since the firm first said at the end of March it was considering bidding for Shire.

The drugmaker expects the deal to close in the first half of 2019.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Christopher Cushing