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Takeda buys Brazil's Multilab for $265m

Deal expands Japan-based pharma company’s reach in South America

Takeda Pharmaceutical has continued its acquisitive strategy by agreeing to acquire Brazilian pharma company Multilab, expanding its reach in Latin America.

Takeda said it will pay 500m reals ($251m) upfront to buy Multilab, with another 40m reals payable in future if certain milestones are met. Takeda said the deal will make it one of the top 10 pharma companies in Brazil.

Multilab is described as a mid-tier pharma company, bringing in annual sales of 140m reals from a product portfolio focuses on branded generics and over-the-counter medicines, including top-selling cold and flu treatment Multigrip.

Sales growth at the Brazilian company has been upwards of 20 per cent since 2009.

Expanding its presence in emerging markets was one of the main messages from Takeda's recently-published 2012-2014 growth plan, which aims to help the company cope with the loss of patent protection for diabetes blockbuster Actos (pioglitazone) later this year.

The company has already taken steps to expand internationally, buying Switzerland's Nycomed and URL Pharma of the US in two deals valued collectively at $13bn - and has said it wants to funnel its expanded product line through new international sales channels.

Brazil is acknowledged to be the most attractive emerging pharmaceutical market in the Americas due to its large population, strong consumer demand, relatively low unemployment and well-developed regulatory environment.

Many multinational pharma companies have reported double digital growth in the country during the latter half of 2011, according to Business Monitor International, which expects the domestic drug market to expand by almost 12 per cent in local currencies this year to reach $27.5bn.

Meanwhile, Takeda joins the ranks of a number of other pharma multinationals who are increasing their presence in Brazil by linking with domestic manufacturers.

Earlier this year, Merck & Co set up a joint venture with Supera Farma Laboratorios to sell upwards of 30 branded and generic medicines in the country, while in 2011 Amgen bought privately-held hospital product specialist Bergamo and in 2010 Pfizer paid $240m for a 40 per cent stake in Laboratorio Teuto Brasileiro.

The Takeda/Multilab acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of Takeda's fiscal year 2012 ending next March.

"Takeda has ambitious plans for growth in emerging markets," commented Jostein Davidsen, head of emerging markets commercial operations for Takeda.

"Brazil is our second largest emerging market after Russia/CIS in terms of revenues and the acquisition of Multilab is a clear signal of our intention to become a significant player both in Brazil and other high-growth markets," he added.

28th May 2012

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