Takeda, a Japanese drugs company, won approval from its shareholders for a deal to buy Shire, a rival based in Ireland. The 46bn pounds ($59bn) transaction is Japan’s biggest foreign takeover to date. For months a campaign led by descendants of the founder of Takeda, which traces its history to 1781, had tried to derail the bid, believing it to be too risky.
In its biggest acquisition since 2011, Unilever agreed to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) consumer-health division in India for 3.3bn euros ($3.7bn). The business gets most of its revenue from Horlicks, a malted milk drink that is marketed as a children’s nutritional supplement for building muscle and bone. It is one of India’s most-popular packaged beverages.
GSK, meanwhile, struck a $5.1bn deal to take over Tesaro, an American biotech company that specialises in new types of drugs called parp inhibitors used in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
In a week when rioting worsened in Paris over fuel taxes, the OECD published a report showing that France collects the most tax as a percentage of GDP among rich countries. The tax-to-GDP ratio in France last year was 46.2%, slightly ahead of Denmark, which had topped the survey each year since 2002. The OCED average of 34.2% was the highest since records began in 1965. However, just 19% of total tax revenue in France comes from taxes on individual income; in Denmark it is 54%.
New York’s taxi commission imposed a pay formula on ride-hailing services such as Uber that will set a minimum wage for their drivers at $17.22 an hour (after expenses). That is more than the city’s new $15 minimum wage for other workers and takes into account the drivers’ status as contractors who do not receive benefits such as paid leave. Uber said the price passengers pay will probably rise as a result.
Nipping it in the bud
Tumblr decided to block adult content, just weeks after its mobile app was banned from the iPhone. Some consider Tumblr’s move to be brave, as it is thought that a fifth of the blogging site’s users access porn material. Tasteful nudity will be allowed, as will erotic text. But Tumblr’s bottom line is that there are lots of internet sites featuring adult content: “we will leave it to them”.