October 15, 2019 / 8:10 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Takeda sells Mideast, Africa drug portfolio to Switzerland's Acino

* Takeda is selling non-core assets after $59 bln Shire purchase

* Deal left Takeda highly indebted

* Sale expected to close in quarter ending March

* Takeda will continue to make the drugs for Acino (Adds further detail of sale)

TOKYO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd said on Tuesday it will sell a portfolio of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines in the Middle East and Africa to Swiss pharmaceuticals company Acino for more than $200 million.

The sale, which Takeda said in a statement is expected to close in the quarter ending March, comes as Japan's biggest drugmaker looks to trim its debt following the $59 billion purchase of Shire.

Takeda gained global heft through the Shire acquisition but left it highly indebted. It has pledged to shed non-core assets while focusing on five key areas - oncology, gastroenterology, neuroscience, rare disease, and plasma-derived therapies.

Takeda said it will continue to manufacture the drugs for Acino, which is backed by Avista Capital and Nordic Capital.

Reporting by Sam Nussey, editing by Louise Heavens

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