Takeda Pharmaceutical Downgraded by Moody's on Lofty Debt After Shire Deal

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s credit rating was cut by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited the drugmakers’ ballooning debt level following its $62 billion acquisition of Shire Plc, Bloomberg News reported. Moody’s cut Takeda’s credit rating three notches to Baa2 from A2, according to a statement Monday. That’s still investment grade, and Moody’s said the outlook is stable based on expectations that Takeda will reduce its leverage through cost synergies and growth from key products. Shire investors weren’t encouraged by the move, as the stock dropped as much as 2.1 percent in early trading in London yesterday. The downgrade to the rating, which is now two notches above junk status, was expected. Moody’s, as well as other ratings agencies, had put Takeda on watch for possible cuts since the agreement to acquire Shire was announced in May. Takeda Chief Executive Officer Christophe Weber said at that time he expected the company’s credit score to be lowered, but remain investment grade. Read more.