The Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. logo is displayed at the company’s global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Kentaro Takahashi/Bloomberg)

Takeda Weighing Sale of European Over-the-Counter Assets

(Bloomberg) -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is considering a sale of assets from its over-the-counter business in Europe, as the drugmaker pursues ways to cut debt after its $62 billion takeover of Shire Plc, people familiar with the matter said.

The Japanese company is working with advisers at JPMorgan Chase & Co. as it evaluates its options, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A sale process may kick off next year and could value the assets at about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), the people said.

No final decisions have been made, and Takeda could decide to keep the assets, the people said. Representatives for Takeda and JPMorgan declined to comment.

Shire shares were up as much as 2.1 percent to 4,493.50 pence in London trading Monday. Takeda gained as much as 3 percent to 4,501 yen in Tokyo.

Radical Transformation

Takeda’s acquisition of biotech firm Shire will radically transform the company and strengthen its pipeline of lucrative products to treat rare diseases. It has also been weighing sales of other assets, including its eye-disease treatment Xiidra and Shire’s Natpara medicine, to raise funds to help offset the cost of the deal, Bloomberg News reported last month.

After having received regulatory approval in several key markets, Takeda is now in talks with European antitrust regulators about selling an experimental inflammatory bowel disease drug to help close the transaction. The Japanese drugmaker said it isn’t in discussions with the European Commission about selling any other assets to gain antitrust approval, and that it doesn’t anticipate a delay in closing the deal.

European regulators have a Nov. 6 deadline to complete their review. The takeover has already won approval from China, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Brazil and Japan, making Europe the final major market that needs to sign off.

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