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Yamanouchi Group Holding Inc., a U.S. unit of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., on Monday sold its stake in Shire Pharmaceutical Group PLC of Britain for about 10 billion yen.

Yamanouchi Group sold its 5,263,902 shares in Shire Pharmaceutical, equal to a 6.5 percent stake in the British drug company, through a U.S. brokerage.

Yamanouchi Group originally held shares in Roberts Pharmaceutical Corp. of the United States, which was taken over by Shire Pharmaceutical in December 1999.

Yamanouchi Group entered a tieup with Roberts Pharmaceutical in 1992 as part of a strategy of conducting business in the U.S. market with a local partner. A recent decision to run its U.S. operations entirely through subsidiaries, however, prompted the firm to end its capital link with Shire Pharmaceutical, the firm said.

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