Private equity looks for $905M in sale of Japan's Showa

Looking for a local beachhead in Japan? Private equity firm Tokio Marine Capital is looking to sell the drugmaker Showa Yakuhin Kako in a deal that could bring in as much as $905 million, sources tell Reuters.

Tokio Marine hired Citigroup to manage the sale, which involves the firm's 50% stake, as well as the 23% owned by Polaris Capital and the 23% held by a PineBridge Investments private equity group, the news service reports. None of the investors would comment on the potential sale.

The three firms are cashing out after some three years in Showa Yakuhin Kako; they invested in the drugmaker in 2008. According to Polaris Capital's website, the pharma company has two main products: the Calonal fever and pain medication, a prescription acetaminophen product, and a dental anesthetic known as Ora-Chu Cartridge. The company also markets a periodontal treatment, Periofeel. Showa has been working to grow Calonal sales by boosting dosage strength for cancer pain and by marketing it for arthritis.

- read the Reuters story