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Takeda to Buy Out Abbott Stake in US Venture

Takeda Pharmaceutical plans to spend some 500 billion yen ($5 billion) to buy out Abbott Laboratories stake in their 50-50 U.S. joint venture, a source close to the deal said on Wednesday.

Takeda, which has earmarked $10 billion for major investments including acquisitions, has long had its eye on gaining full control of TAP Pharmaceutical Products, but has been at odds with Abbott over the price.

Takeda spokesman Seizo Masuda said the drug maker had made no decisions on the matter, but would announce a decision as soon as there was one.

The Nikkei business daily said Takeda aims to minimize the amount of cash it will need to put up for the acquisition by transferring TAP's prostate cancer treatment as well as the rights to some experimental medicines to Abbott.

By acquiring TAP, whose main product is the ulcer drug Prevacid, Takeda's sales will rise to about 1.7 trillion yen from an estimated 1.4 trillion yen for the year ending this month, the paper said.

That would lift its global ranking in the pharmaceuticals industry to 14th from 17th, it added.

Takeda shares rose, in line with the overall market, but outperforming the drug sector subindex.