Takeda may sell some European over-the-counter assets as it seeks to slash debt

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is considering a sale of assets from its over-the-counter business in Europe, as the drugmaker pursues ways to cut debt after its $62 billion takeover of Shire PLC, people familiar with the matter said.

The company is working with advisers at JPMorgan Chase Co. as it evaluates its options, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A sale process may kick off next year and could value the assets at about €1 billion ($1.1 billion), the people said.

No final decisions have been made, and Takeda could decide to keep the assets, they said. Representatives for Takeda and JPMorgan declined to comment.

Takeda’s acquisition of biotech firm Shire will radically transform the company and strengthen its pipeline of lucrative products to treat rare diseases. It has also been weighing sales of other assets, including its eye-disease treatment Xiidra and Shire’s Natpara medicine, to raise funds to help offset the cost of the deal.

After having received regulatory approval in several key markets, Takeda is now in talks with European antitrust regulators about selling an experimental inflammatory bowel disease drug to help close the transaction. The drugmaker said it is not in discussions with the European Commission about selling any other assets to gain antitrust approval, and that it doesn’t anticipate a delay in closing the deal.

European regulators have a Nov. 6 deadline to complete their review. The takeover has already won approval from China, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Brazil and Japan, making Europe the final major market that needs to sign off.

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