(Bloomberg) -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Asia’s largest drugmaker, is planning to buy back as much as 100 billion yen ($881 million) worth of its shares, its first repurchase in more than a decade, saying that the current stock price creates a buying opportunity.

Takeda will buy as many as 35 million shares, or 2.23% of shares outstanding, between Nov. 2 and April 29, the drugmaker said in a statement Thursday. It’s the first buyback announced by the Osaka-based company since November 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

“At our current share price, we see an opportunity to buy back our shares at a substantial discount to what we perceive is their underlying value,” Costa Saroukos, Takeda’s chief financial officer, said in the statement. The buyback will not impact the company’s plans to reduce its debt or ability to hit other targets by the end of fiscal 2023, Saroukos said.  

Takeda will also maintain its existing dividend policy and update its capital allocation policy to allow for more share buybacks in future when appropriate, he said. 

The company also reported its first-half earnings. Operating profit jumped 60% to 346 billion yen for the six months ended September after it booked the sale of diabetes treatments to Teijin Pharma Ltd., it said. Revenue rose 13% to 1.79 trillion yen from a year earlier, it said. 

Takeda fell less than 1% in Tokyo trading before the earnings release and buyback announcement. The stock has declined 16% this year.

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