Business / Corporate

Asahi Kasei to acquire U.S. drugmaker

JIJI

Major chemical maker Asahi Kasei Corp. has said it will purchase Veloxis Pharmaceuticals Inc. of the U.S. by February.

The acquisition price will come to some ¥143.2 billion.

Through the purchase of the U.S. drugmaker, Asahi Kasei hopes to establish a business foundation in the growing U.S. pharmaceutical market.

“We’ll grow our health care business and develop it into the third earnings pillar” alongside the materials and housing businesses, Asahi Kasei President Hideki Kobori told a news conference Monday.

Asahi Kasei currently offers bone, immune and nerve-related pharmaceutical products mainly in the Japanese market, where the growth potential is believed to be limited.

Meanwhile, demand for Veloxis’ immunosuppressive drug, used after kidney transplants, has been growing yearly. Asahi Kasei aims to strengthen its competitiveness by combining Veloxis’ business with U.S. medical equipment operations it acquired in 2012.

In the year to December, Veloxis expects to achieve sales of around ¥8.7 billion.

Asahi Kasei will launch a tender offer for a Danish company that wholly owns Veloxis next month at the earliest.