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Takeda to sell Japan consumer health unit for $2.3bn

Deal helps to reduce debt accrued from Shire takeover

Takeda is on the verge of selling its consumer health unit in Japan for up to $2.3bn to Blackstone Group, an American investment firm.

The portfolio to be divested to Blackstone includes a range of Takeda’s over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and health products, such as its regional brand Alinamin, a vitamin B1 derivative, and Benza, a cold remedy.

According to a statement from Takeda, Blackstone intends to develop the business together with Takeda Consumer Health Company’s (TCHC) current management and continue to employee existing staff members.

“Today’s transaction will provide TCHC with the ownership, resources and strategic focus to continue to thrive and meet the needs of customers, while further sharpening Takeda’s strategic focus and commitment to financial discipline and transforming science into life-changing medicines,” said Christophe Weber, president and chief executive officer at Takeda.

“We are confident that under Blackstone, TCHC will be well-positioned to continue growing and developing its product offerings in the years to come to address the evolving needs of consumers,” he added.

Last year, Takeda acquired Irish biotech company Shire for £46bn, which gave the Japanese pharma company access to a solid platform of rare diseases.

However, the takeover also meant that Takeda inherited a massive amount of debt, which the company plans to reduce by divesting up to $10bn in non-core assets.

This included offloading a number of its OTC and prescription medicines in emerging markets in Near East, Middle East and Africa (NEMEA) countries to Acino for $200m.

The Japanese pharma also entered an agreement with Stada last October to divest a portfolio of select OTC drugs for a total value of $660m.

The Stada deal includes OTC vitamins and food supplements, and select products in the cardiovascular, diabetes, general medicine and respiratory therapeutic areas. According to Takeda, the portfolio's growth is driven by sales of products including Cardiomagnyl and other ‘strong regional brands’.

Takeda’s continued divestment of select assets aligns with the company’s efforts to focus on its chosen business areas. This includes gastroenterology, rare disease, plasma-derived therapies, oncology and neuroscience, five therapy areas which the Japanese pharma company said are core to its global long-term growth.

As well as completing $10bn in divestment transactions, Takeda has made other sacrifices for the Shire acquisition, including the sale of its Osaka headquarters in July 2018.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

25th August 2020

From: Sales

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