March 1, 2019 / 9:58 AM / 3 months ago

Japan's Daiichi Sankyo exploring sale of OTC business, hires JP Morgan -sources

TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co is exploring the sale of its over-the-counter drugs business and has hired JPMorgan to advise on the potential deal, several people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Japan’s fourth-largest drug maker by revenue has been focused on developing cancer treatments to offset a decline in revenue following patent expirations of its mainstay high blood pressure drug.

It is considering selling the Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare unit, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters, declining to be identified because the information has not been made public. It has hired JP Morgan to advise on the deal, three of the people said.

A spokeswoman for Daiichi Sankyo said nothing had been decided. A JP Morgan spokeswoman declined to comment. ($1 = 111.9700 yen) (Reporting by Junko Fujita and Taro Fuse, additional reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by David Dolan)

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