Traditionalists at Takeda spark a family feud with CEO Christophe Weber over his $62B Shire takeover deal

A band of dissident Takeda shareholders outraged by CEO Christophe Weber’s plan to meld Shire into the fold through a $62 billion buyout has found a prominent spokesperson. Kazu Takeda, one of the most senior members of the family that created Takeda, is warning that the M&A deal could spark disaster by undermining the most basic principles of Takeda-ism, which holds that the company makes money by making people happy.

“We understand that scaling up is necessary,” he told The Times, “but Takeda management has to think about the traditional corporate culture and the health of the company. Hasty decisions on big deals should be avoided. It will lead to disaster if there are large-scale mergers and acquisitions without careful consideration.”

Right from the start, Weber has ignored the traditionalists among the shareholders as he pursued his own goal to make Takeda into a global player that can rival the world’s biggest operators. And so far, the opposition — former staffers and Takeda family members — has been unable to change the new course at Takeda one bit, no matter how bitterly they object.

Their best hope now is to persuade general stockholders to oppose the merger ahead of the formal completion of the deal. But with less than 10% of the tally in one recent shareholders’ vote, it’s unlikely they’ll be more than a thorn in Weber’s side.

“The key for us is to globalize our key products and to globalize the company,” Weber told CNBC a year ago, while focusing on R&D for the longterm.

Image: Christophe Weber. GETTY IMAGES

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