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Shionogi to Acquire U.S. Drug Maker Sciele Pharma

Tokyo, Sept 1, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Major Japanese drug maker Shionogi & Co. <4507> said Monday that it will acquire Sciele Pharma Inc. of the United States through a tender offer.

Shionogi will pay 31 dollars for each Sciele Pharma share in the tender offer, which will be launched within 10 days, at a total cost of 1,424 million dollars. The tender offer will last for 20 business days, Shionogi said.

Shionogi is aiming to make the Atlanta-based company a fully owned unit.

Sciele Pharma has strength in drugs for treating high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and has more than 700 medical representatives.

The company posted sales of 382 million dollars in 2007, up from the preceding year's 293 million dollars, and a net profit of 45 million dollars, unchanged.

At a press conference, Shionogi President Isao Teshirogi praised Sciele Pharma for its strong marketing capabilities.

Shionogi is aiming to take advantage of Sciele Pharma's network in boosting sales in the United States while concentrating its own business resources there on research and development activities.

Japanese drug makers are beefing up their overseas operations through business acquisitions in the face of slowing growth in the domestic market.

Earlier this year, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. <4502> announced its plan to acquire Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. of the United States. Daiichi Sankyo Co. <4568> is set to buy Indian drug giant Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.

By Jiji Press, (c) Jiji Press

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