Kirin Pushes Expansion of Wellness Business in $1.2 Billion Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Kirin Holdings Co. agreed to acquire most of the biochemicals business from its Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. unit in a transaction valued at 128 billion yen ($1.2 billion) as it seeks to strengthen its budding consumer health-care segment.

  • Kirin is purchasing a 95 percent stake in Kyowa Hakko Bio Co., which produces specialty chemicals and vitamins for the health and wellness sector, and making it a direct subsidiary, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Key Insights

  • The move comes as Kirin builds out its wellness and health foods segment, partly to help offset declining consumption in its domestic beer unit. Chief Executive Officer Yoshinori Isozaki said he’s targeting 100 billion yen in sales for the new business.
  • Bringing Kyowa Bio under its control as a subsidiary will give Kirin easier access to supplies for its wellness segment, as well as speed up research and development of future products.
  • The move will allow the Kyowa Hakko unit to focus on the pharmaceutical businesses, including drug development--a potential revenue boost that would benefit the beer maker.

Market Reaction

  • Shares of Kirin fell 0.6 percent at the close in Tokyo. Kyowa Hakko’s stock closed relatively unchanged.

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