Does Stada need Takeda's for-sale European drugs? CEO says no

STADA
Stada CEO Peter Goldschmidt hinted that the German generics maker doesn't necessarily need the Takeda for-sale European assets. (Stada)

If German generics maker Stada is looking for a large deal, Takeda’s reportedly for-sale European drugs could be a good target. But to hear Stada's CEO tell it, the company has plenty of choices.

“We are very selective but we take a look at everything,” Stada CEO Peter Goldschmidt said of his company’s deal-making strategy, as quoted by Reuters.

The news wire previously reported that Takeda has set out to find a buyer for some consumer and off-patent prescription drugs in Western Europe, and Stada is among a long list of possible buyers that could take at least part of the package home.

Goldschmidt didn’t comment on the rumor. Even it were pursuing the Takeda assets, Stada isn’t putting all its eggs in that one basket.

“There are five or six comparable opportunities, that are currently in the market or will come to the market,” Goldschmidt told Reuters. And it’s not primarily looking at acquisitions, anyway. “We have very good organic growth,” he said. “Our first goal is to have good partnerships.” The company currently has an ongoing collaboration with XBrane Biopharma for the development of biosimilars.

RELATED: Still on a cash-raising spree, Takeda shops €1.5B European drug sale: report

All told, those to-be-disposed European drugs could be worth €1.5 billion, money that would help Takeda pay down debt incurred in its $59 billion Shire buyout. Other than Stada and its private equity owners Cinven and Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners’ Recordati and Advent International’s Zentiva could be interested, Reuters’ sources previously said. Indian and Asian drugmakers eyeing a bigger footprint in Europe are also prospects.

Stada was once among the suitors for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s French consumer health unit Upsa, which eventually went to Taisho Pharmaceutical in a $1.6 billion deal. But the German drugmaker did strike a consumer health deal with GlaxoSmithKline earlier this year, buying up five skin care brands and a pediatric cough drug in Europe and some other markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Bain and Cinven were also reportedly sizing up some additional products from the new GSK-Pfizer consumer joint venture.

RELATED: GSK preps for Pfizer consumer health JV with £1B in product sell-offs: report

By the end of June, Stada had €254 million ($284 million) cash on its balance sheet, its half-year report (PDF) shows. During the six months, the company reported year-over-year sales growth of 11% to €1.26 billion.

“Stada saw high sales growth and a substantial gain in market share in key European markets including Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and France,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. The company has so far focused on businesses outside of the U.S., where pricing pressure on generics have hit hard in the past few years.

As for Takeda, the Japanese drugmaker is expecting to sell $10 billion worth of products outside of its key business areas. Also on the block is its $1 billion Latin American business, Reuters reported.

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