With key drugs with patents due to expire, Astellas began a two month battle for the U.S pharmaceutical company who are well known for their cancer drug, Tarceva. The deal represents the first major acquisition by Astellas after the company was created from a merger of Yamanouchi and Fujisawa in 2005.
In 2008, Takeda Pharmaceutical, the research-based pharmaceutical company, bought Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.9billion. Eisai acquired cancer maker MGI Pharma for $3.9 billion. Whilst in 2009, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma took over Sepracor for $2.6 billion.
Pharmaceutical companies have been the biggest buyers of Japanese firms in recent year. This has been accelerated due to their strong financial position and falling share prices.
Alan Kitcin, Head of law firm Clifford Chance’s in Japan stated, “Japanese companies are cash-rich, the yen is strong and they take a long-term view. I don’t think they’ll ever pull out of a deal because the price is a bit high,” he added.
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