Takeda moves forward on China growth strategy

Takeda Pharmaceutical captured headlines last week with its potential bid for the Swiss drugmaker Nycomed. The buyout would give Takeda greater penetration in emerging markets, and that's a good thing because the company has until now been behind its Japanese rivals in that area, according to analysts.

Well, as if to remind us that it's been serious about emerging markets for some time, Takeda's leadership is out talking about its plans for China. President Yasuchika Hasegawa says the company will be hiring hundreds of Chinese sales reps over the next few years, to bring its sales force to 900 by 2015. The company now has just 250 reps on staff. Takeda recently set up Takeda China, a sales-and-marketing arm for its Tianjin Takeda Pharmaceuticals, investing $150 million in the business.

Those reps will be charged with helping to pump up Takeda's sales in China by more than 10-fold, Hasegawa said. The company will invest "several tens of billion yen" in the Chinese market to help fuel that expansion, Japan Today reports. With 10 billion yen worth about $123 million, that investment would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

- see the Japan Today story