Takeda to Close Illinois Headquarters and Move Operations to Boston

Takeda

Takeda Pharmaceutical will shutter its Deerfield, Ill. U.S. headquarters and move the operations to Boston as the company consolidates its operations following the $62 billion acquisition of Shire. The Illinois facility employs about 1,000 people.

Illinois-based employees were notified of the decision on Monday, The Chicago Tribune reported late Tuesday. It is unknown at this time how many Takeda employees will be offered the chance to relocate to Boston. Citing a Takeda spokesperson, the Tribune said some of the Deerfield employees will be offered an opportunity to relocate, but did not specify how many, nor did she specify if the relocation would include employment in Boston.

Takeda spokesperson Julia Ellwanger said the work done at the Deerfield location will “progressively consolidate” from Illinois to Boston following the closure of the Shire acquisition. Ellwanger said the move will allow “closer collaboration across Takeda to best position our future pipeline for success.” Additionally, Ellwanger said the move will “simplify” the company’s existing U.S. operations.

The Japanese company has not yet picked a site in the Boston area for its new headquarters, according to The Boston Globe. Takeda does have a strong presence in Cambridge, Mass., following the 2008 acquisition of Millennium Pharmaceuticals and the 2017 acquisition of Ariad Pharmaceuticals.

According to the Globe’s report, Takeda said it made sense to base its operations in the Boston area because that puts it operations “closer to where our future pipeline is being generated, and having Takeda US business units together to provide opportunities for employees to develop their careers across our large, diverse business.”

In May Takeda announced it had reached a deal with Dublin-based Shire for $62 billion. Shire is based in Ireland, but its operations are primarily run through its Boston-area offices. When announcing the acquisition of Shire, Takeda Chief Executive Officer Christophe Weber said the deal will make the Japanese company a leader in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, rare diseases and plasma-derived therapies. The acquisition is not expected to be finalized until sometime in the first half of 2019.

Ellwanger noted to the Tribune that even if the deal falls apart in the eleventh hour, Takeda will still relocate its employees to the Boston area.

Shire also has about 1,200 employees in Illinois, the Tribune said. About 800 are in Deerfield and another 400 in another municipality. Shire spokeswoman Katie Joyce told the paper that the company has not yet made a decision about the future of those employees.

When the deal is complete, Takeda has noted that layoffs are likely to reduce redundancies and the like. The expected number of layoffs is somewhere in the range of 3,000 employees.

The move to acquire Shire has not been without some drama. Takeda made five public bids for the company, increasing its offer price several times. The latest drama, though, came from a member of the family that founded Takeda Pharmaceuticals. On Monday Kazu Takeda became the public face of Thinking about Takeda’s Bright Future (TTBF), a small group of shareholders voicing their opposition to the Shire acquisition. This week Takeda called the company’s move a “hasty decision” and said it will “lead to disaster if there are large-scale mergers and acquisitions without careful consideration.” Kazu Takeda said the company that bears his family’s name needs to “think about the traditional corporate culture and the health of the company.”

Weber has largely ignored the TTBF criticism as the company moves forward with the deal.

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