Tablets of multiple vitamin and minerals supplement are arranged for a photograph in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

Unison Capital Weighs $1 Billion Sale of Ayumi Pharma

(Bloomberg) -- Unison Capital, a Tokyo-based private equity firm, is exploring a sale of Ayumi Pharmaceutical Corp., which makes drugs for rheumatic and orthopedic disorders, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Unison is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to gauge potential buyer interest in the Japanese drugmaker, which may be valued at around $1 billion, according to the people. The business could attract suitors including buyout funds and health-care companies, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Japanese companies have announced a record $91 billion of health-care deals this year, led by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s proposed takeover of Shire Plc, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Tokyo-based trading house Mitsui & Co. announced last week it will spend $2 billion to become the biggest shareholder in Asian hospital operator IHH Healthcare Bhd.

Deliberations about a possible sale of Ayumi are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for Ayumi, JPMorgan and Unison declined to comment.

Ayumi was formed after Unison-controlled Hyperion Pharma Co. acquired Santen Pharmaceutical Co.’s anti-rheumatism operations in 2015 and combined it with the drugs business of another Unison portfolio company.

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