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Avista Capital takes on ex Nycomed CEO

7 Oct 2011

New York-based private equity firm Avista Capital Partners has hired former Nycomed CEO Hakan Bjorklund as a healthcare operating executive.

Bjorklund worked closely with Avista on the development of Nycomed during the firm’s ownership of the company, which was recently sold to Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda for €9.6bn- the largest pharmaceutical exit this year.

Under Bjorklund’s leadership, Nycomed was transformed from a predominantly Scandinavian business into a global pharmaceutical company with leading market positions in Europe, Russia and CIS, Brazil and Latin America.

In 2006 he led the integration of Altana Pharmaceutical, a German-based company that Nycomed purchased for €4.2bn. He was also instrumental in growing Nycomed in emerging markets, most recently through last year’s acquisition of Guangdong Techpool Bio-Pharma, a fast-growing Chinese bio-pharmaceutical company.

Before joining Nycomed, Bjorklund was regional director at Astra (now AstraZeneca) and, earlier, president of Astra Draco. He is a member of the board of directors of Coloplast, Lundbeck, and Atos Medical. He was also a director at Danisco until its recent acquisition by Dupont.

“We are delighted to welcome Hakan to Avista. One of the top pharmaceutical executives in Europe, he possesses a deep understanding of the global healthcare market,” said Thompson Dean, co-managing partner and CEO of Avista.

Takeda acquired Nycomed in May for €9.6bn in cash. The boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal, giving Takeda a strong platform in Europe and emerging markets.

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