Takeda makes an M&A move in Turkey

Christophe Weber

Takeda's CEO-in-waiting, Christophe Weber, has included emerging markets, along with oncology and gastrointestinal medicines, as one of three areas of focus for the Japanese drugmaker. He recently said he is ready to do some deals to capitalize on those areas, and now he has executed one that straddles two of those favorites.

Osaka, Japan-based Takeda announced today that it would pay 300 million Turkish lira ($121 million) to buy a portfolio of 13 drugs from Neutec, one of the top drugmakers in Turkey. It said the baker's dozen of drugs include products for treating gastrointestinal conditions, as well as respiratory, metabolic and musculoskeletal conditions. The drugmaker said it expects to close the all-cash deal, which would reach the 300 million lira mark based on milestones, this quarter. Istanbul-based Neutec will continue to manufacture the products at its plant in Adapazari.

Danilo Cassani, who oversees Takeda's operations in the Near East, Middle East and Africa, pointed out that the Turkey pharma market is set to grow by 6% a year over the next 5 years, a faster pace than most developed countries. Other drugmakers, like Sanofi ($SNY), have also tagged it as a good bet. Takeda has been plumbing this market for about 5 years and has 130 employees there selling a portfolio of its own drugs, including diabetes treatment Actos. Takeda will add another 100 positions in the country with the closure of this deal.

Weber became Takeda's chief operating officer last year and was selected by CEO Yasuchika Hasegawa to be his replacement when he relinquishes the CEO role in June. The outsider is charged with remaking Takeda into an international player, and toward that end, Weber has been reorganizing the company. Last month he said that with the reorg in action, he was prepared to consider some deals to bolster Takeda's target areas. He said he didn't intend for the company to be passive and just "watch the train passing."

- here's the announcement

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