The man behind Daiichi Sankyo buyout of Ranbaxy gives up chairman's role

One of the execs who masterminded Daiichi Sankyo's acquisition of Ranbaxy Laboratories--the same man that drew the Japanese company into a whirlwind of regulatory issues and then lived with it as the generic drugmaker--is stepping down as chairman. The decision by Takashi Shoda comes now that Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to sell Ranbaxy to Sun Pharmaceutical for $3.2 billion.

Bloomberg reports that Shoda was Daiichi Sankyo's CEO when the company in 2008 decided to spend $4.6 billion to get control of the generic drugmaker, as a way to take advantage of the rapid growth of Indian generic drugs in the U.S. market. But months after the deal was done, Ranbaxy was caught by the FDA making up data for drug tests. It ran into what became years of issues that led last year to it paying $500 million and pleading guilty to 7 felony charges to settle litigation with the U.S.

Daiichi tried repeatedly to straighten out the problems at Ranbaxy but even since the settlement, the drugmaker has had two more plants banned by the FDA, meaning four of its FDA-approved plants can not ship to the U.S. It also initiated international mediation, saying some former shareholders at Ranbaxy had hidden the company's problems before the deal. The company announced today that Shoda, now 65, will take the new position of senior corporate adviser after a shareholders meeting, Daiichi Sankyo said in a statement today.

Daiichi and Sun last month reported the deal that will make the Japanese drugmaker Sun's largest shareholder with about 9%. Sun has promised to return the four Ranbaxy plants the FDA has banned back to compliance and shipping again to the U.S.

- here's the announcement
- read the Bloomberg story