Mitsubishi Mulls Pharmaceutical Merger | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: January 25, 2007

Mitsubishi Mulls Pharmaceutical Merger

Deal with Tanabe would create Japan's 6th largest drugmaker
Department: Business

Mitsubishi Chemical has confirmed that its Mitsubishi Pharma subsidiary is holding merger talks with Tanabe Seiyaku Co., the result of which would be Japan's 6th largest drug company.

The firms have not come to any agreement, Mitsubishi Chemical says. But Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest business newspaper, reports that the companies have already agreed to a framework under which Tanabe would take over Mitsubishi Pharma. In turn, Mitsubishi Chemical would acquire more than 50% of the merged entity, the report says.

There has not been a big drug merger in Japan since early in 2005 when Sankyo and Daiichi Pharmaceuticals decided to combine their operations. Mitsubishi Pharma and Tanabe both have strengths in drugs for circulatory diseases but have not launched major new products in recent years, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Chemical says its chief technology officer, Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, will become president and CEO on April 1. The current president and CEO, Ryuichi Tomizawa, will become chairman, a position that has been vacant since 2004 when the previous chairman, Kanji Shono, stepped down.

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