Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co. agreed to buy Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: SGNT) for $736 million in cash, allowing the Japanese company to build its presence in the U.S. market as it looks to become one of the world’s top manufacturers of generic medicines.

In other mid-market generic pharmaceutical deals:  Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO) purchased generic forms of Retin-A, often prescribed as an anti-aging or acne-treatment skin cream, from Matawan Pharmaceuticals LLC, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. formed a partnership with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to sell generic drugs and certain off-patent medicines in Japan.

Nichi-Iko will pay $21.75 per share, a premium of about 40 percent to Sagent’s July 8 closing price, the companies said in a statement. Both boards backed the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of the fiscal year ending in March.

Merging with Schaumberg, Illinois-based Sagent will bring Nichi-Iko increased reach in the U.S. market for its portfolio of injectable medicines and the copies of more complex biological drugs it is developing, the company said.

Nichi-Iko, which got 100 percent of its revenue from Japan in the last fiscal year, has said it aims to become one of the top 10 global generic drug companies.

“The U.S. market is a top priority for Nichi-Iko and we believe Sagent is an ideal partner to accelerate our international growth strategy," Yuchi Tamura, Nichi-Iko’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Sagent’s headquarters will remain in Illinois and no changes to its operations or management are anticipated, according to the statement.

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