Takeda to Buy Multilab to Gain Sales Network in Brazil

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Asia’s largest drugmaker, agreed to buy closely held Multilab Industria e Comercio de Productos Farmaceuticos Ltda. for 500 million reais ($246 million) to gain a sales network in Brazil.

Multilab’s owners, Genesio Cervo and Rejane Gobbi, will get as much as 40 million reais in additional milestone payments later from Osaka, Japan-based Takeda, the two companies said in a statement today, without disclosing more details. The purchase by Takeda’s wholly owned Brazilian unit will put the Japanese company among the top 10 drugmakers in South America’s biggest economy, according to the statement.

Multilab, based in Sao Paulo, has a well established distribution network of regional wholesalers and small- to mid-size independent pharmacies in emerging regions of the country, according to the statement. This is the second acquisition announced by Takeda this year after it agreed last month to buy closely held URL Pharma Inc. to gain a new gout treatment.

“Takeda has ambitious plans for growth in emerging markets,” Jostein Davidsen, who heads emerging markets commercial operations at Takeda, said in the statement. “Brazil is our second-largest emerging market after Russia/CIS in terms of revenues and the acquisition of Multilab is a clear signal of our intention to become a significant player both in Brazil and other high-growth markets.”

Branded Drugs

The Brazilian drugmaker’s sales have risen more than 20 percent annually between 2009 and 2011 and posted revenue of 140 million reais last year, it said. The company sells branded generic drugs and over-the-counter medicines such as Multligrip cold remedy, the country’s best-selling product for treating cold and influenza, according to the statement.

Takeda expects the transaction to be completed by the end of September, according to the statement. Takeda had 455.6 billion yen ($5.7 billion) in cash and equivalents, and short-term investments as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of Takeda rose 2.3 percent to 3,300 yen in Tokyo. The announcement was made after the close of trading.

Takeda was advised by JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Multilab by Banco BTG Pactual SA.

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