MUMBAI/TOKYO (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (4502.T),
Japan's largest drugmaker, is in talks with Indian generic
drugmakers Cipla (CIPL.NS) and Lupin (LUPN.NS) about buying one
of the companies' pharmaceutical businesses, the Economic Times
reported on Wednesday.
Takeda, which has said it wants to expand in India, one of the
world's fastest growing drug markets, has held preliminary talks
with Cipla, while talks with Lupin have progressed beyond the
initial stage, the newspaper said citing people with direct
knowledge of the development.
Japanese drugmakers, hampered by rising hurdles to develop
next-generation blockbuster products, have been active in global
acquisitions, seeking to beef up their product pipelines.
A Takeda spokeswoman declined to comment on the report. A Cipla
spokeswoman said, "We would like to clarify that these reports
are baseless and untrue and is categorically denied."
A representative for Lupin could not immediately be reached by
Reuters. The report said a Lupin official declined to comment.
Cipla is known for selling low-cost generic versions of
anti-retroviral drugs used to fight HIV/AIDS. Lupin is a major
producer of generic drugs.
The newspaper report said Takeda was interested in buying Lupin's
domestic formulations business as well as its research facility,
but its founders were not willing to sell the research unit.
Emerging markets are set to become the main driver for the global
pharmaceuticals industry as patents run out on many top drugs and
sales in Western markets stall, but acquisitions in those
economies have not always come easy.
In 2009, Daiichi Sankyo (4568.T), Japan's No.3 drugmaker, took
majority control of Indian generic drug maker Ranbaxy
Laboratories (RANB.NS) for $4.6 billion, but later saw profits
fall at the unit following a U.S. ban on some Ranbaxy products
amid allegations of falsified data.
In a move to lift its presence in emerging markets, Takeda bought
drugmaker Nycomed, which is well-placed in Russia and Brazil and
owns a majority stake in a Chinese firm, for $13.7 billion.
At a news conference announcing the deal in May, Chief Executive
Yasuchika Hasegawa said the Japan firm was open to further
In 2008, Takeda purchased U.S. cancer specialist Millennium
Pharmaceuticals for $8.8 billion in 2008. Other Japanese
drugmakers have also been active in overseas acquisitions.
In recent years, Astellas Pharma (4503.T) bought OSI Pharma for
$4 billion and Eisai (4523.T) purchased MGI Pharma for $3.9
billion to boost their cancer drug pipelines.
Shares in Takeda ended at 3,625 yen on Tuesday, down 0.7 percent
versus an 1.1 percent fall in the benchmark Nikkei stock average
(Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Reporting by James Topham in TOKYO
and Kaustubh Kulkarni in MUMBAI; Editing by Malini Menon)