November 5, 2019 / 8:20 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 2-Stada buys Takeda drug bundle to boost Russia business

* Stada buys OTC drugs, generic pharmaceuticals for $600 mln

* Part of Takeda push to slash debt after Shire takeover

* 2nd Stada deal in as many days to boost eastern Europe ops (Adds 2nd Stada purchase, background on Stada's owners)

By Rocky Swift and Ludwig Burger

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Germany's Stada on Tuesday agreed to purchase over-the-counter and prescription drugs units from Japan's largest drugmaker Takeda for $660 million, part of two deals that boost its Russian and Eastern European footprint.

The portfolio, which Takeda is selling in a push to slash debt after its $59 billion purchase of Shire, includes drugs sold exclusively in Russia, Georgia and a number of countries from within the Commonwealth of Independent States, the companies said.

The deal follows Monday's announcement of Stada's acquisition of Czech Republic-based Walmark, a consumer health products business serving mainly eastern Europe.

A source familiar with that transaction said it was worth more than 100 million euros. Stada and the owner of Walmark, buyout firm Mid Europa Partners, did not say how much the deal was worth.

Stada, majority owned by buyout firms Bain and Cinven since 2017, sells consumer healthcare products such as painkillers and sunscreen lotions and biosimilar and generic drugs, which are cheaper copies of established pharmaceuticals that have lost patent protection.

Its new owners had been widely expected to grow revenues through acquisitions and boost earnings through cost benefits.

Takeda has pledged to dispose of $10 billion worth of non-core assets following the Shire deal, which was the biggest ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company.

The latest sale adds to about $5.9 billion in previous divestitures in 2019, including assets in the Middle East and Africa and a dry-eye drug sold for $5.3 billion to Swiss drugmaker Novartis.

Takeda surprised markets in May when it reversed its full-year profit forecast to a loss, citing costs associated with the takeover of Ireland-based Shire.

Takeda now has outstanding bonds and loans worth 6.1 trillion yen ($56.04 billion) from less than 1 trillion yen prior to the deal. The company managed to pay off 584.5 billion yen in debt in the first half as part of its deleveraging goal.

The company's shares rose 5.1% in Tokyo trading to 4,204 yen.

($1 = 108.8600 yen)

Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru and Rocky Swift in Tokyo, Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Kirsten Donovan

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