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.

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"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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