Japanese drugmaker Kyowa Hakko Kirin (KHK) has agreed to acquire Scottish group ProStrakan in a deal worth £292 million, to help get a stronger foothold in markets outside of Japan.

The Galashiels, Scotland-based firm is recommending that its shareholders accept KHK's offer, under which it would pay 130 pence per share in cash, representing an approximate 40% premium on the group's stock price last November.

Explaining its interest in the deal, KHK said it could provide its business with an established European and US marketing and sales platform as well as a portfolio of proprietary products, helping to expand its reach beyond the domestic market.

ProStrakan’s "strong management team and talented and motivated salesforce" could help with the launch and marketing of KHK’s key pipeline products, such as its therapeutic antibodies on both sides of the Atlantic, while the move would also help to expand the Tokyo-based firm's existing clinical development capabilities, it explained.

Strategic fit

According to KHK head Yuzuru Matsuda, "the combination of KHK and ProStrakan represents a highly attractive and strategically complementary fit", which will help to strengthen the group's business and future growth prospects. 

On the other side, ProStrakan says the acquisition represents a new opportunity for continued development that could ultimately allow the business to grow at a faster pace and "offer to patients and clinicians across Europe and the US, in time, a broader range of medicines". 

"The fit between ProStrakan and KHK is unmistakeable in terms of products, geography and infrastructure and we believe that the price being offered by KHK fully values ProStrakan’s ongoing growth prospects", noted Peter Allen, company chairman and acting chief executive.

Prostrakan shareholders will vote on the proposed acquisition in April, but there is chance of a counter-bid by another party in the meantime. Dutch group Norgine already owns nearly 13% of the Scottish group, and has already made an unsuccessful bid to buy the business.