Korean pharma deal shows value of R&D and brands

Kolmar Korea goes up the value chain with the acquisition of CJ Healthcare to keep one step ahead of potential digital disruption in the sector.

Drug companies are increasingly deploying artificial intelligence to analyse growing volumes of data for drug development. To acquire this know-how they are making deals, signing partnerships, and designing new product-launch strategies to boost market share.

In that context, Kolmar Korea is buying drugs-to-beauty products group CJ HealthCare for W1.31 trillion $1.2 billion, according to a stock market filing late Tuesday.

A key attraction for Kolmar Korea, which largely makes drugs for other companies including L'Oréal and Estée Lauder, is that CJ Healthcare has its own branded products, such as its hangover cure CJ Condition launched in 1992.

CJ Healthcare also runs...

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