Japan's Taisho buys nearly 25% stake in Vietnam's DHG Pharma for $97M

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Tokyo-based Taisho Pharmaceutical has bought a 24.5% stake in Vietnam's DHG Pharmaceutical, the country's top drug distributor that handles a wide range of prescription therapies, over-the-counter treatments and personal care products.

This comes as Vietnam opens up to foreign investment across a number of industries as part of policies such as signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. The government holds a 43.3% stake in DHG, according to Thanh Nien News, while foreign investors including Taisho own 49%.

The stake of 21.3 million shares was valued at VND2.2 trillion ($97.2 million) by the newspaper. In a release, Taisho said the purchase is aimed at expanding its reach in the country and offering advice on aspects of the pharmaceutical business.

"Taisho Group believes that the transaction and Alliance will enable Taisho Group to share its knowledge, technology, and know-how in the pharmaceutical business with DHG, resulting in an increase in DHG’s sales and further growth of Taisho Group’s and DHG’s businesses in Asia," Taisho said in a release. "In addition, synergy is expected between DHG, with its strong presence in Vietnam, and Taisho Group."

Taisho in Japan is strong in OTC offerings and has had a Vietnam unit since 1999.

Vietnam's pharmacy shops operate in a largely cash economy, making distribution and payments an area ripe for new methods.

According to Taisho, DHG, based in Can Tho in southern Vietnam, reported a net profit of VND593 billion in the year ended Dec. 31, 2015.

- here's the release
- and a story from Thanh Nien News

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