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Debt-laden Takeda sells European assets to Orifarm for $670m

Company will transfer rights to some over-the-counter and prescription drugs plus two manufacturing plants

Takeda building

Takeda has signed another deal to pay down the borrowing it took on after acquiring Shire, transferring rights to some over-the-counter and prescription drugs plus two manufacturing plants to Denmark’s Orifarm.

The latest deal – worth up to $670m – is rumoured to be a preamble to a possible sale of the drugmaker’s Japanese consumer health division, according to a Nikkei Business report, which suggests Taisho Pharma or private equity as potential buyers.

Takeda is paying Orifarm $505m in cash for the drug assets – including prescription drugs Warfarin and Levaxin (levothyroxine) – and the manufacturing facilities in Denmark and Poland. Another $70m is due within four years of the deal closing, with $95m also on offer if certain targets are met.

The products cover drugs used for respiratory, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and endocrinology conditions with sales of around $230m in fiscal 2018, mainly from Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Sweden, the Baltics and Austria.

Around 600 workers will transfer from Takeda to the Danish drugmaker when the handover completes. Takeda said the divestments will pay down debt and help it focus on core business areas, which include gastroenterology, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, cancer and neuroscience

The Orifarm deal is similar to another divestment agreed last November, which involved the transfer of OTC and prescription drugs sold mainly in eastern Europe and Russia to German drugmaker Stada for $660m.

Earlier, it sold a bundle of products sold in Near East, Middle East and Africa (NEMEA) markets to Swiss drugmaker Acino for $200m, and another sold in Latin America to Hypera Pharma for $825m.

It also handed over rights to ophthalmic drug Xiidra (lifitegrast) to Novartis for $5.3bn, and attempted to sell its TachoSill surgical patch designed to control bleeding to Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon for $400m, although that has been blocked by antitrust issues.

Takeda completed a $62bn takeover of Shire last year despite resistance from some shareholders who claimed that it would damage the company by saddling it with around $31bn in debt.

The company managed to get the deal through after pledging to sell off around $10bn in assets and carve $1.4bn a year off its costs.

Article by
Phil Taylor

27th April 2020

From: Research

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