June 11, 2020 / 12:33 PM / 2 months ago

Japan's Takeda to sell some Asia-focused drugs to Celltrion for $278 million

FILE PHOTO: Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Christophe Weber attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

(Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (4502.T) has agreed to sell a portfolio of over-the-counter and prescription drugs marketed in the Asia Pacific region to South Korea’s Celltrion Inc (068270.KS) for $278 million, it said on Thursday

Takeda, Japan’s biggest drugmaker, will get $266 million upfront in cash and up to an additional $12 million in potential milestone payments, the company said.

The portfolio to be sold to Celltrion includes OTC and pharmaceutical products marketed mainly in Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, and elsewhere in Asia, it said.

Takeda will continue to manufacture the products and supply them to Celltrion.

The Japanese company pledged to dispose of $10 billion in non-core assets following its $59 billion purchase of Shire Plc completed last year, which left it saddled with debt.

Prior to Thursday’s announcement it had divested $7.7 billion in non-core assets so far, with the latest deal being the sale of OTC and prescription products to Denmark-based Orifarm Group for about $670 million.

Nikkei Business reported last month that Takeda is looking to sell its Japanese OTC business for around 400 billion yen ($3.72 billion).

After Takeda reported full-year earnings on May 13, Chief Executive Christophe Weber said “we are not an OTC company.”

Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru, Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Jan Harvey

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