Takeda to sell Japanese consumer health unit to Blackstone for $2.3 bln

TOKYO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co has agreed to sell its Japanese consumer healthcare business to U.S. investment fund Blackstone Group for 242 billion yen ($2.3 billion), Japan’s largest drugmaker said on Monday.

The sale of Takeda Consumer Healthcare Company, which makes over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and health products, is expected to close by March 31, subject to regulatory closing conditions, the company said in a statement.

Takeda has been reducing its OTC assets worldwide as it seeks to refocus its business and reduce debt after its $59 billion acquisition of Shire. ($1 = 105.8300 yen) (Reporting by Chris Gallagher Editing by David Goodman )