Takeda unlikely to sell OTC drug business: CEO

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's logo is seen at its new headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T is unlikely to sell its over-the-counter (OTC) drug business even amid pressure to improve its finances as it closes a $59 billion takeover of London-listed Shire SHP.L, Chief Executive Christophe Weber said on Monday.

After the Shire deal, which closes on Tuesday, Takeda will have a stronger pipeline and be counted among the top 10 drugmakers by sales globally.

But it will also become one of the world’s most indebted and has plans to sell up to $10 billion in non-core assets.

“It’s not our first priority,” Weber told a news conference when asked whether Takeda would sell its OTC business.

“We have some businesses outside of Japan where we are not really performing,” he said without elaborating further.

Takeda shares rose nearly 10 percent in the morning session after it announced the company would issue around 770 million shares worth 5.85 trillion yen ($54.11 billion). The wider benchmark index .N225 was up around 2.7 percent.

The drugmaker has also secured $29.7 billion in bank loans, with blended interest rates of around 2.5 percent.

($1 = 108.1200 yen)

Reporting By Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Himani Sarkar