By Dominic Chopping


STOCKHOLM--Japanese conglomerate Asahi Kasei made a $1.1 billion takeover bid for Swedish pharmaceutical company Calliditas Therapeutics as it looks to bolster its pipeline of specialty drugs and broaden its geographic footprint.

The company is working to expand its healthcare business through specializing in immunology, transplantation, and adjacent diseases as part of a broader plan to drive growth.

Calliditas Therapeutics' lead product, Tarpeyo, is a treatment for a rare kidney disease called IgA nephropathy and is highly complementary to Asahi Kasei's existing geographic and therapeutic areas, it said.

The drug has recently been fully approved in the U.S., has received conditional approval in Europe and Calliditas has plans to seek approval in Asia. It is the only fully-approved product shown to reduce the loss of kidney function in adults with the condition who are at risk of disease progression.

"This transaction will accelerate [our] transformation into a global specialty pharmaceutical business by unlocking the potential of existing business operations and human resources of Calliditas," Asahi Kasei said.

Through the deal, the Japanese company aims to solidify its presence in the U.S. by expanding its in-house sales structure for renal and autoimmune diseases, establish a presence in Europe, and expand its licensing and new drug development pipeline.

The company will offer 208 Swedish kronor ($19.60) a share, a premium of 83% to the company's closing price on Monday, and SEK416 for each American Depository Share, a 74% premium. The offer values Calliditas at SEK11.8 billion.

The Calliditas board unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the deal. Shareholders representing 45% of the shares have undertaken to accept the deal.

"The proposed transaction highlights the shared commitment of the offerer and Calliditas in addressing the significant unmet medical need in IgA nephropathy with the continued focused development of this first-to-market product in IgAN," Calliditas said.


Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com


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05-28-24 0437ET