Takeda Sells OTC Drugs to Acino

  • © everydayplus/Shutterstock © everydayplus/Shutterstock

In another move to reduce debt after buying Shire early this year, Japanese drugmaker Takeda has agreed to sell roughly 30 prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter (OTC) products to Swiss pharma Acino for more than $200 million.

Acino will acquire the rights to selected pain management, gastroenterology, cardiovascular and respiratory products marketed in a number of Near East, Middle East and African (NEMEA) countries. The agreement covers countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates, among others.

In addition, the companies will enter into a multi-year manufacturing and supply contract, under which Takeda will continue to make the products on behalf of Acino.

Headquartered in Zurich, Acino’s focus is on selected markets in the Middle East, Africa, the CIS region and Latin America. The company has been owned by private equity firms Nordic Capital and Avista Capital Partners since 2013.

The deal is the third that Takeda has done this year as it aims to deleverage and focus on its core long-term growth areas. The company sold Shire’s Xiidra dry-eye drug to Novartis for $3.4 billion upfront as well as its TachoSil surgical bleeding control patch to Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon for $400 million.

“The  divestment of non-core assets sold in NEMEA represents the continued execution of our strategy to optimize our portfolio, invest in the defined core business areas, and accelerate our progress toward reaching our target leverage ratio,” said Costa Saroukos, Takeda’s chief financial officer.

Takeda said the products being sold are primarily outside of its chosen business areas of gastroenterology, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, oncology and neuroscience.

The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2020, subject to the usual closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

According to media reports, Takeda looks likely to make more divestments as it seeks to raise about $10 billion to help pay down its debt of more than $30 billion from taking over Shire.

The Bloomberg news agency, citing people familiar with the matter, said the Japanese pharma is in final talks to sell some assets in Russia to German drugmaker Stada Arzneimittel.

In addition, Brazil’s EMS Pharma was reported in July as being the frontrunner for buying Takeda’s Latin American business.

Several of Takeda’s OTC and prescription drugs in Western Europe are also said to be up for sale with Bloomberg reporting last month that private equity firms such as Advent International, Apollo Global Management and Cerberus Capital Management are interested. These assets are said to be worth about €1 billion.

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