Takeda mulling sale of emerging market drugs – report

Takeda could be considering selling some emerging-market drugs in a bid to cut debts following its merger with Shire that completed earlier this month, according to a press report.

In order to finance the $62 billion takeover, Takeda had to take out bank loans of around $31 billion and needs to sell off assets to pay off the debt and cut repayment overheads.

Bloomberg reported that one option under consideration is emerging markets drugs that Takeda acquired through its $13.7 billion merger with Switzerland’s Nycomed in 2011.

According to the report, Takeda is working with Bank of America Corp to gauge potential buyer interest in the assets.

Citing insider sources that do not want to be named, Bloomberg said that medicines include over-the-counter and prescription drugs, which could fetch around $3 billion.

Bloomberg said that discussions are at an early stage and there is no certainty that they will result in a sale, according to the sources.

The Japanese pharma went on record to say that it has not made any decisions regarding which assets to sell, while a representative for Bank of America declined to comment.

The Shire takeover turned Takeda into one of the world’s biggest 10 pharma companies, but doubled its borrowing and prompted S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service to cut its credit rating.

Takeda’s CEO Christophe Weber said earlier this month that it needs to sell assets quickly to cut its debt following completion of the deal.

Christophe Weber

According to reports immediately after the deal went through, Takeda could divest up to $10 billion in assets, and businesses from the Nycomed deal were suggested as potential candidates at the time.

Drugs acquired through that deal include the respiratory drug Daxas (roflumilast), and over the counter medicines that are sold in markets such as Russia.

Shares in Takeda ticked up on the Tokyo Stock Exchange following the announcement.

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