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Japan's Takeda to sell portfolio of select drugs for US$660m

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Japan's largest drugmaker, said on Tuesday it would sell some of its over-the-counter and prescription drugs to Germany's STADA Arzneimittel AG for a total value of US$660 million.

[TOKYO] Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Japan's largest drugmaker, said on Tuesday it would sell some of its over-the-counter and prescription drugs to Germany's STADA Arzneimittel AG for a total value of US$660 million.

The portfolio includes drugs sold exclusively in Russia, Georgia and a number of countries from within the Commonwealth of Independent States, the company said.

STADA will acquire the rights, title, and interest to the products in the portfolio exclusive to these countries, Takeda added.

The company has pledged to dispose of US$10 billion worth of non-core assets in the wake of its US$59 billion purchase of Shire Plc, Japan's biggest ever outbound acquisition.

The latest sale adds to about US$5.9 billion in previous divestitures in 2019, including assets in the Middle East and Africa and a dry-eye drug sold for US$5.3 billion to Swiss drugmaker Novartis.

Takeda surprised markets in May when it reversed its full-year profit forecast to a loss, citing costs associated with its takeover of Ireland-based Shire.

Buying Shire expanded Takeda's drug pipeline and diversified its global sales, with half of its revenue now coming from the United States. But it also saddled the company with debt.

Takeda now has outstanding bonds and loans worth 6.1 trillion yen (S$76 billion) from less than 1 trillion yen prior to the deal. The company managed to pay off 584.5 billion yen in debt in the first half as part of its deleveraging goal.

The drugmaker is aiming to focus on five key areas: oncology, gastroenterology, neuroscience, rare disease, and plasma-derived therapies, businesses that contribute about 75 per cent of its total revenue.

Takeda on Oct 31 trimmed its full-year loss forecast on strong sales of its core drugs and cost savings from the merger.

Operating loss for the full year ending March 2020 will be 110 billion yen, Takeda said when it posted first-half results, versus its prior estimate for a loss of 166 billion yen.

REUTERS

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