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Upsher-Smith parent sells stake in U.S. generics unit

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MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith Laboratories LLC said its Japan-based parent, Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., has agreed to sell a 20% stake in its Sawai America Inc. subsidiary to Sumitomo Corp. of Americas (SCOA).

Under the deal, SCOA — part of global conglomerate Sumitomo Corp. — is slated to buy the interest in Sawai America for $211 million.

The companies said the transaction will help fuel Sawai America’s efforts to expand its U.S. market presence as part of Sawai Pharmaceutical’s strategy to build a global generic drug business. In line with that plan, Sawai acquired Upsher-Smith’s generics business, finalizing the deal in June.

“Sumitomo’s investment in our U.S. subsidiary and its management participation in Upsher-Smith will allow us to benefit from its experience, knowledge and network in the global business arena in areas such as sourcing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and product introduction,” Sawai president Mitsuo Sawai said in a statement. “By leveraging the unique strengths of the three companies — namely Sawai, Upsher-Smith and Sumitomo Corp. — we will continue to enhance our global presence, including the U.S. business, to accelerate growth with the goal of becoming a ‘globally recognized generics company.’ “

The transaction with Sumitomo is expected to close by the end of March 2018, according to Upsher-Smith.

“We are excited by the potential of this partnership and look forward to increasing our capacity for acquisition and discovering broader strategic growth opportunities,” commented Rusty Field, president and chief executive officer of Upsher-Smith.

Upsher-Smith retained its Minneapolis-area headquarters in Minnesota and operations in Colorado under the acquisition by Sawai, and Field added the title of CEO to his role as Upsher’s president.


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