Fri, May 20, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Japan’s Takeda to buy drugmaker for US$13.6 billion

EXPANDING OVERSEAS:The acquisition of the Swiss firm is the latest in a series by Japanese pharmaceutical companies looking to make the most of a strong yen

AFP, TOKYO

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical said yesterday it reached a 9.6 billion euro (US$13.6 billion) deal to buy Swiss drugmaker Nycomed in what would be one of the biggest overseas acquisitions by a Japanese firm.

Takeda said it would finance part of the transaction through a loan of between ¥600 billion and ¥700 billion (US$7.4 billion and US$8.5 billion) and that it planned to complete the acquisition by the end of September, subject to antitrust clearance.

The deal with Nycomed will allow Japan’s largest drug maker by revenue to tap into emerging markets demand at a time when pharmaceutical firms worldwide are battling drops in revenue from patent expirations and generic makers.

Nycomed has strong sales in emerging markets and Takeda has agreed to purchase the shares from private equity funds as it seeks to boost its presence in these markets.

It is the latest in a series of acquisitions for Japanese drug makers as they look to make the most of the strong yen and boost their presence in more lucrative markets overseas, offsetting limited domestic opportunities.

Among Nycomed’s products are treatments for lung disease, which Takeda said it expects to be a major source of revenue growth.

The Swiss firm has about 12,500 employees worldwide and has subsidiaries in more than 70 countries, with a strong presence in Europe and in fast-growing markets such as Russia, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. In the US and Japan its products are distributed through local partners.

Last year, Nycomed’s turnover totaled US$3.2 billion, ranking 28th among global pharmaceutical companies. It specializes in gastroenterology medicine as well as treatments against respiratory and inflammatory diseases.

Takeda, with 19,650 employees, recently reported a turnover of ¥1.419 billion for the fiscal year ending on March 31.

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