Toshiba Medical enters race to buy Takeda Pharmaceutical's chemical unit

Toshiba Medical Systems has entered the race to buy Wako Pure Chemicals Industries Ltd, a chemicals unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan's largest drugmaker by market value, is selling its 70-per cent stake worth around $1 billion in unlisted Wako Pure as part of its plan to streamline operations, and hired Nomura Holdings to advise on a possible sale.

Fujifilm Holdings holds the remaining 30-per cent in Wako Pure, but it is not clear whether it is keen on taking full control of the chemical company.

Last week, Reuters reported that Japan's Hitachi Ltd and private equity firms Carlyle Group and Permira are among the bidders for Wako Pure valued at around $1 billion. (See: Hitachi, Carlyle, Permira among bidders for Takeda's chemicals unit Wako Pure Chemicals) Canon recently agreed to buy Toshiba Medical from Toshiba Corp, but the transaction has yet to be finalised.

Founded in 1922, Osaka-based Wako Pure Chemicals, formerly known as Takeda Pure Chemicals till 1947, develops and manufactures laboratory chemicals, specialty chemicals, and clinical diagnostic reagents for scientists, medical professionals, and industrial applications.

The company has a presence in Asia, Europe and the US, and had sales of 75.7 billion last year.

Wako Pure CEO Christophe Weber is focusing on oncology, CNS and GI therapies and plans to expand these areas through partnerships and acquisitions.

It is already expanding its generics business though a partnership with Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.