Japan pharma firm to sack 3,000 after Swiss deal

TOKYO, January 18, 2012 (AFP) - Japanese pharmaceutical firm Takeda, which took over its Swiss rival Nycomed last year for $14 billion, on Wednesday announced almost 3,000 job losses across the combined group.

In a statement issued by Takeda headquarters in Osaka, the company said the moves were intended to "better align its global workforce and consolidate site operations".

Around 2,100 positions would go in Europe, and 700 in the United States, it said. The job losses will be across research and development, operations, commercial and administrative functions, it added.

Before the takeover Takeda had its biggest presence in Japan and the US, while Nycomed's infrastructure was largely in Europe and emerging markets.

Yasuchika Hasegawa, Takeda's president and CEO, said: "While our combined operations in more than 70 countries are more complementary than overlapping, there are a number of areas where we will need to make changes to ensure efficient and flexible operations moving forward."

The moves would cost the firm about 70 billion yen ($900 million) during fiscal 2011-2015, and it would achieve synergies worth around 200 billion yen over the same period, it said.

The Nycomed takeover was corporate Japan's biggest foreign acquisition in 2011.