Japan’s drugstores poised for growth, says investor Orbis

TOKYO, Jul 19 (businesslive.co.za) - The prospect of more consolidation among Japan’s fragmented pharmacy industry is likely to boost the longer-term value of the country’s big players, Orbis Investment Management’s Japan chief says.

The comments from Orbis’ Tsukasa Tokikuni show how the $63bn industry has become increasingly attractive to investors, even as Japan’s population ages and shrinks, and store rollouts slow down.

Market expectations for more mergers in the sector have grown since Hong Kong-based activist investor Oasis Management launched a campaign against Tsuruha Holdings, calling for a board reshuffle at one of the largest chains.

Bermuda-based Orbis, with $33bn in assets under management, has invested in the Japanese pharmacy sector for more than two decades including Tsuruha, where it now has a 5.6% stake. ...continue reading