Esteve Sells Generic Drugs Division to Towa Pharmaceutical for €320m

Barcelona-based pharmaceutical company Esteve has agreed a deal to sell its generics division, Pensa Investments, to Japan’s Towa Pharmaceutical.
Staffan Schüberg

© Leaders League

Barcelona-based pharmaceutical company Esteve has agreed a deal to sell its generics division, Pensa Investments, to Japan’s Towa Pharmaceutical.

The transaction is an all-cash deal involving an upfront payment of €320 million. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this month.


The acquisition of Pensa will enable Towa to provide generic medicines to patients, not only in Japan but also abroad, by using a manufacturing factory that specializes in pellet preparation in Spain as well as a network of subsidiary companies in Europe and the US.


In 2018, as part of its strategic plan, Esteve announced its intention to focus its business “on proprietary products and areas of specialized medicine”. The divestiture of Pensa was the first step in this process.


Esteve CEO Staffan Schüberg, said: ''Towa is undoubtedly the ideal partner to develop the full potential of the Esteve generic division. At the same time, this operation will allow us to focus on our core businesses and speed up Esteve's transformation into a specialized and innovative global pharmaceutical company.''


Towa president Itsuro Yoshida said: ''I am happy that we can now build a foundation for full-scale overseas expansion by obtaining the sales networks that Pensa owns in Europe and the US, its know-how and knowledge on EMA/FDA regulations and commercial practices in each country, and its production facility in Europe. Our goal is to build a solid global structure by respecting and integrating one another's human resources, culture, and technologies. We will work unitedly as a group to provide Towa's value-added products to patients all over the world.''


A Clifford Chance team led by Barcelona-based partner Guillermo Guardia advised Esteve. The team also included: Barcelona-based lawyers José María Vilaseca, Juan Cuerva, Cristina González, Manel Santilari and Francisco Ruiz; Madrid-based Begoña Barrantes and Fernando Escribano; New York-based Thais García, Daryl Fairbairn and Paul Koppel; Washington-based Timothy Cornell, Santiago Roca and Eva Kurban; and Tokyo-based Natsuko Sugihara and Yuki Hoshinaga.

Read the full Special Report: SPAIN

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