Takeda nets $660m from product selloff to Germany’s Stada

Takeda has divested another block of products it views as lying outside its main focus, selling various drugs sold in emerging markets to German drugmaker Stada to offset high levels of debt.

Stada is paying $660 million to claim ownership of the 20 or so over-the-counter and prescription drug brands in Russia, Georgia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Takeda had been eyeing up the sale of various mature products in Europe and emerging markets – many acquired via its takeover of Nycomed in 2011 – to help it pay down some of the estimated $31 billion in debt it has taken on with its $62 billion acquisition of Shire.

It has previously said it intends to dispose of around $10 billion in non-core assets, whilst implementing a cost-cutting drive aimed at trimming $2 billion off its annual spend by the end of 2021.

Even before this latest deal, Takeda had raised around $5.9 billion from divestments, including notably the sale of dry-eye therapy Xiidra (lifitegrast) to Novartis for $5.3 billion, surgical patch product TachoSil to Ethicon for $400 million, as well as products in the Middle East and Africa to Swiss drugmaker Acino for more than $200 million.

The deal is another big step forward for Stada too, coming two years after the OTC and generic drug company was sold to private equity firms Bain and Cinven, and a few days after it agreed a deal to acquire Czech Republic-based consumer healthcare company Walmark for an estimated €100 million ($110 million).

“This is Stada’s largest acquisition to date and will position us as a major player in a large and structurally growing market,“ said the German drugmaker’s chief executive Peter Goldschmidt.

The deal covers OTC vitamin and food supplements, as well as prescription drugs in the cardiovascular, diabetes, general medicine, and respiratory therapeutic categories.

Stada said the medicines include blood clot preventer Cardiomagnyl (aspirin/magnesium hydroxide), type 2 diabetes therapy Nesina (alogliptin) and Edarbi (azilsartan medoxomil) for high blood pressure.

Taken together, the products from the Acino and Stada deals have annual revenues of around $300 million at the moment, said Takeda.

“This announcement is the latest step in Takeda’s effort to simplify our portfolio, accelerate deleveraging, and continue to invest in our key business areas,” commented Costa Saroukos, the Japanese firm’s chief financial officer.

“We are making strong progress towards executing our strategy and delivering enhanced value for patients and Takeda shareholders,” he added.

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