2020-08-25| Asia-Pacific

Takeda to Sell its Japan Consumer Health Business to Blackstone for $2.3B

by Tulip Chakraborty
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By T. Chakraborty, Ph.D.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is one of the largest biopharma headquartered in Japan that focuses on four major therapeutic areas, namely oncology, rare diseases, neuroscience, and gastroenterology. On August 24th, it announced plans to sell its Japanese healthcare business, Takeda Consumer Healthcare Company Limited (TCHC) to Blackstone Group for $2.3 billion as the company tries to realign and commit further to other business areas.

The move comes as Takeda decides to refocus its strategies and reduce debt in the organization following the acquisition of Shire Plc last year for a massive amount of $59 billion. Blackstone is recognized as one of the global investment firms and has a wealth of experience in the health care sector. If all goes well, the transaction is expected to close by the end of March 2021, subject to legal and other pre-established conditions [1].

Takeda plans to divulge details on a variety of over the counter (OTC) medicines and health products to Blackstone that has cumulatively generated revenues of over half a million USD in the year 2019 alone. Takeda’s top-selling drugs include Alinamin, a vitamin B1 preparation, and Benza, a cold remedy. With this acquisition, Blackstone intends to keep employing the previous employees and work harmoniously with Takeda to further develop its business.

“Today’s transaction will provide TCHC with the ownership, resources and strategic focus to continue to thrive and meet the needs of customers, while further sharpening Takeda’s strategic focus and commitment to financial discipline and transforming science into life-changing medicines,” said Christophe Weber, President, and CEO of Takeda. “TCHC played an important role in Takeda’s long history, but with our growth strategy now focused on five key business areas – Gastroenterology (GI), Rare Diseases, Plasma-Derived Therapies, Oncology and Neuroscience – and an increasingly competitive consumer health care market in Japan, the ownership transition will benefit both TCHC and Takeda. We are confident that under Blackstone, TCHC will be well-positioned to continue growing and developing its product offerings in the years to come to address the evolving needs of consumers.”[2]

Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners, and Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co Ltd were among the other competitors vying for the OTC sector, while Blackstone emerged victoriously. Blackstone in a statement added that the acquisition of Takeda’s OTC unit is its second venture in Japan, after buying Ayumi Pharmaceutical Corp, in a deal worth a billion dollars. Takeda commented that this acquisition by Blackstone would boost its net profits by over a billion USD.

The sale of the OTC sector of Takeda is in sync with its long-term global strategy to provide quality and uninterrupted access and supply of critical products to patients. In 2020 alone, Takeda has agreed to divest in three different portfolios in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America regions. This includes non-core assets sold to Celltrion for approximately $278 million, non-core products to Orifarm Group for up to $670 million, and additional non-core products to Hypera Pharma for roughly $825 million [2].

Editor: Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.

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