Blackstone to buy Japanese specialty pharmaceutical firm Ayumi

Blackstone-managed private equity funds have agreed to acquire Japanese specialty pharmaceutical firm Ayumi Pharmaceutical from an independent private equity firm Unison Capital.

Based in Tokyo, Ayumi is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of various drug products for anti-rheumatism and orthopedic pain management.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that the deal is said to be valued at around $1bn.

In 2015, Ayumi was founded through the incorporation of Santen’s anti-rheumatic drug business and Showa’s medical business.

Ayumi produces Calonal analgesic product, which is a prescription acetaminophen drug that serves as a safe treatment of chronic pain for patients across multiple disease areas.

The company provides a portfolio of treatments through synthetic and biosimilar products that are prescribed to patients across all stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnoses.

Blackstone Japan private equity head and senior managing director Atsuhiko Sakamoto said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Ayumi. Under the leadership of its seasoned management team, AYUMI has established a robust foundation as a leading specialty pharmaceutical company in the field of rheumatism and orthopedics – with world-class medical and scientific capabilities.”

Ayumi noted that it is focusing on the development of new drugs, development and introduction of biological drugs and biosimilars, as well as forming business alliances with other companies and research institutions to expand its capabilities.

Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.

Ayumi representative director, president and CEO Ouchi Hikaru said: “Although we have already established a strong platform of growth in partnership with Unison Capital, from orthopedic therapeutic areas to RA areas and further through the new introduction of biosimilar products, we will need more investment for future growth

“We have great expectations for our new shareholder in order to further enhance our presence in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry and to continue providing drug treatments that contribute to patients and to society.

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