Japan’s biggest drugmaker is ready to take on more partnerships and deals — at the right price — as it seeks to build an identity beyond the pharmacy shelves of its home market.
Takeda aims to keep its debt to no more than three times a measure of earnings. Weber is still looking for businesses outside the core that he could shed — as the company did with the chemicals unit it sold last year to Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and the respiratory medicines AstraZeneca Plc bought in 2015.
The company earlier this month boosted its full-year forecast for operating income and sales, citing a weaker yen and lower restructuring costs. Takeda shares rose 0.6 percent in early trading in Tokyo on Friday. The stock has climbed 29 percent this year, and touched a two-year high earlier this month.
After signing more than 100 partnerships in the last two years for early-stage assets, Takeda will probably slow its search for collaborations and work to make the best use of the tie-ups it already has, Weber said.
“We want to be in the sweet spot where we are a Japanese company but very progressive and very modern,” Weber said. “That’s the best of two worlds.”
Weber, who has spent three years at Takeda, said he’s in it for the long haul. “I have a 10 years’ agenda,” he said. “I don’t decide that, but that’s the intent.”
When it comes to looking at deals, Weber hinted that Takeda would be willing to pay more for a profitable business.
The scope available for deals “depends on what you buy. If you buy Ebitda, you have a different possibility than if you don’t buy Ebitda,” he said, referring to the measure of profit known as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
18 November 2017