Just Takeda two aspirin and call in the morning

April 10, 2008

(Refiles to correct spelling of Abbott)

A patient is seen as she goes through the so-called “double eyelid surgery” in a plastic surgery clinic in ShanghaiAs if U.S. big pharma didn’t have enough headaches, what with the lawsuits and the generics and the prospect of huge regulatory changes on the horizon if Obama or Clinton get into office. Now competition from the Japanese is looming as a potential threat. Takeda Pharmaceutical said it would buy Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.8 billion to boost its cancer drug business. It’s being billed as the biggest overseas acquisition ever by a Japanese drugmaker. The friendly cash offer of $25 per share is 53 percent above Millennium’s closing share price on Wednesday. Takeda recently took over assets from a ruptured joint venture it had with Abbott last month. Rival Eisai paid $3.9 billion for cancer specialist MGI Pharma late last year.

British Energy bidding has gone nuclear. Germany’s RWE and Britain’s Centrica have both made indicative bids valuing the nuclear power operator at up to 11 billion pounds ($22 billion), sources close to the matter said. Utilities across Europe are stalking British Energy, which is the UK’s only private nuclear power generator and is 35 percent owned by the British government, to take advantage of the country’s new drive towards nuclear power.

Once thought to be running out of alternatives to accepting Microsoft’s offer, Yahoo has become a target of two warring camps of technology giants and their media allies. The New York Times reports News Corp is considering joining Microsoft in a bid for Yahoo that would bring in News Corp’s MySpace online social hangout and create a more formidable rival to Internet juggernaut Google. But Yahoo, which plans to test Google search ads alongside Yahoo Web search services, is closing in on a deal with Time Warner for its AOL unit, several sources told Reuters. Stay tuned.

Deals of the day:
* Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, whose Weather Investments controls Greece’s second-largest telco, Tellas, said he was looking at buying a Greek bank as part of plans to develop phone banking.
* Brazilian conglomerate Votorantim said it will raise its offer by 16 percent to increase its stake in Peruvian miner Milpo, in a bid to control the local company.
* New York Daily News owner Mortimer Zuckerman submitted a bid to buy Newsday from Tribune, while his archrival Rupert Murdoch is also in talks about the paper, sources familiar with the situation said.
* Symantec, the world’s biggest security software maker, said it will buy AppStream, a developer of technology used to distribute computer programs across large networks.

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