Takeda takes buying binge into Brazil with $265M Multilab deal

Takeda has a yen for emerging markets--billions of yen, actually. Just two weeks ago, the Japanese company said it would plow more money into fast-growth countries, and now it's announcing a $265 million deal in Brazil. The Sao Paulo-based Multilab will join Takeda's Brazilian unit, bringing its broad sales network--and a portfolio of branded generics and over-the-counter products.

"This acquisition significantly reinforces Takeda's position in Brazil, which is the world's sixth largest economy and the biggest in South America," emerging markets chief Jostein Davidsen said in a statement. "[T]he acquisition of Multilab is a clear signal of our intention to become a significant player both in Brazil and other high-growth markets."

The Multilab deal follows last year's $13.6 billion buyout of Switzerland's Nycomed, which came with significant sales--and a significant commercial network--in emerging eastern European markets. Takeda wants to beef up sales not only by taking advantage of Nycomed's commercial heft in those countries, but also by feeding Nycomed products through its own channels in other regions.

Multilab will allow it to do just that. The Brazilian company has a distribution network of regional wholesalers and independent pharmacies, particularly in "emerging" areas of the country, Takeda said. Together with its own urban-based distribution, those legacy Nycomed products will have plenty of territory to penetrate.

Overall, Takeda aims to grow emerging markets sales to 20% to 25% of its revenue, sales executive Frank Morich told Reuters. That's about twice as big as their current slice of the pie. "The key message we are sending with this deal is that we are really serious about globalization," Morich said. "We will continue to go after such opportunities as they arise."

Takeda and its Japanese rivals have been on something of a shopping spree. They've acquired drugmakers outside of Japan to diversify away from their home market. Lately, the strong yen has helped fuel more deals. On its own, Takeda has spent $15 billion on M&A over the last couple of years, Bloomberg points out. Just last month, it bought U.S.-based URL Pharma for access to its gout drug Colcrys, which brought in $430 million last year. That cash will help fill the gap now that generics are eroding sales of Takeda's top-selling diabetes drug Actos.

- get the release from Takeda
- read the Reuters story
- see the Bloomberg piece

Related Articles:
Sales-needy Takeda springs for emerging markets growth
Takeda's plate full with Nycomed integration
Takeda snaps up URL Pharma in $800M+ deal