Takeda Pharmaceutical sweetened its offer for drugmaker Shire to more than $60 billion after three prior bids were rejected, wooing investors in the USA company with a higher cash component. The Improved Proposal is at a price of 47.00 pounds per share in cash and stock, compared to prior proposal of 46.50 pounds per share in cash and stock.
And if a takeover of that scale goes through, it would be the third biggest acquisition of a UK-traded company in history.
Based on Takeda's current market value, Shire shareholders would own approximately 49 percent of the enlarged company should the latest proposal be accepted.
In a written statement, Shire said it is considering the proposal "and will issue a further announcement in due course". Shire's stock sank more than 3% early on Friday. Shares have been forming a cup since last May with a buy point at 192.25. Allergan first said it was in early stages of planning a proposal.
Botox-maker Allergan had seen its shares fall 7 percent after Reuters reported its interest.
Ireland-headquartered drugmaker Allergan has ruled itself out of bidding for rare disease specialist Shire.
Allergan could still be in a dealmaking-mood, though. It continued: "On completion of the proposed acquisition, Shire shareholders would hold a very meaningful stake in a leading global biopharmaceutical company and benefit from the material synergies expected to be derived from the acquisition".
Other potential acquirers include Celgene, which analysts speculate could be eyeing Agios Pharmaceuticals or Jounce Therapeutics, and Amgen, which is facing more competition for its older drugs.
Takeda and Shire were unavailable for comment.
Takeda's pipeline is largely focused in cancer treatments, neuroscience, gastrointestinal diseases and vaccines.