JAPAN’S largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is buying privately held Nycomed for €9.6bn (£7.3bn), it announced yesterday, boosting its presence in emerging markets and adding a newly approved lung-disease drug to its portfolio.
The agreed deal is the biggest overseas purchase by a Japanese company since Japan Tobacco paid $19bn (£11.7bn) for Britain’s Gallaher, and is Takeda’s second major buy after its $8.8bn deal for Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 2008.
The acquisition gives Takeda, a mainly Asian- and US-focused maker of drugs, a new treatment for “smoker’s lung” called Daxas and a portfolio of over-the-counter products.
Swiss-based Nycomed will help Takeda expand in Europe and emerging markets, providing an immediate source of stable cashflow at a time when its top-selling diabetes drug Actos faces the upcoming expiry of its US patent.
“We have a strong European backbone and, even more importantly, a very strong and rapidly growing emerging markets presence – that, I think, was the key,” said Nycomed chief executive Hakan Bjorklund.
Emerging markets are set to become the main driver for the global pharmaceuticals industry as patents run out on many top drugs and sales in Western markets stall.
Nycomed is majority owned by four private equity firms, led by Nordic Capital with a 41 per cent stake. Credit Suisse’s DLJ Merchant Banking has 25.6 per cent, Coller International Partners 9.7 per cent and Avista 8.9 per cent.
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Nycomed focuses on gastroenterology, respiratory, pain and osteoporosis drugs.
Nycomed’s owners had been mulling a float at some stage, but was not expected to put the plan in place until at least 2012.
City A.M. Reporter