NEW YORK (AP) — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Monday it will pay $460 million to acquire a majority stake in Japanese generic drugmaker Taiyo Pharmaceutical Industry Co., and said it expects its annual sales in Japan to reach $1 billion in the next few years.
Teva, the world's largest maker of generic drugs, said it will take a 57-percent stake in Taiyo. Taiyo had $530 million in revenue in 2010, making it the country's third-largest generic drug company. Japan is the largest pharmaceutical market in the world after the U.S.
Teva and Kowa Co. formed a joint venture in Japan in 2008. The business reported more than $200 million in revenue in 2010, and Teva said it was aiming for $1 billion in revenue in the country by 2015. The company now says it will reach that target ahead of schedule.
Taiyo has more than 550 products on the market, Teva said. The company said the drug market in the country is worth $96 billion, and the government is trying to increase the use of low-cost generic drugs, which are less common in Japan than they are in the U.S.
The deal values privately-held Taiyo at $1.3 billion. Teva said the acquisition will add to its profit within a year after closing.
The purchase marks another in a series of major acquisitions for Teva, which is based in Israel but has historically reported most of its sales from North America and Western Europe. Earlier this month, Teva agreed to buy Cephalon Inc., which makes the sleep disorder drug Provigil and the pain drug Fentora, in a deal valued at $6.8 billion. That deal is expected to close during the third quarter.
In August, Teva expanded its European business by buying Ratiopharm of Germany for $5 billion. In December 2008, Teva acquired U.S. competitor Barr Pharmaceuticals for $7.5 billion.
Shares of Teva lost 30 cents to $49.37 in premarket trading.