Week In Review: Deals Dominate China Biopharma News

Deals and Financings

Luye Group, the parent of Luye Pharma (HK: 2186), is bidding to acquire Ethypharm, a privately held French pharma, at a price that could be as much as $800-$900 million (see story). Luye faces competition on several fronts for control of Ethypharm, which is currently owned by PE firm Astorg Partners. Other investment companies are interested, as is the UK's Mundipharma, as well as several unnamed China pharmas, according to Bloomberg, which broke the story. 

Wuhan Humanwell Healthcare (SHA: 600079) and PuraCap will acquire Epic Pharma, a New York state generic drug manufacturer, for $550 million (see story). In a brief announcement, Humanwell said it would invest $270 million to create a US subsidiary, which would then own Epic. Formed in 2008, Epic bought a generic drug manufacturing previously owned by Sandoz. It produces a number of generic drugs and provides contract manufacturing services. In 2015, Epic said its revenues exceeded $120 million per year. 

Zhongmei Healthcare, a group of private China hospitals, plans to stage a $150 million IPO in Hong Kong during Q2 (see story). In January, the Carlyle Group acquired a 15.7% stake in Zhongmei for a $64 million investment, implying a valuation of $408 million. Zhongmei, which will offer 25% of its shares in the IPO, owns three renal care hospitals, one aesthetic surgical hospital and two general hospitals. The company will allocate 30% of the proceeds toward further acquisitions. 

Fujian Thai Hot Investment, a China holding company, closed its $102.5 million acquisition of a 51.5% stake in Alliance HealthCare Services (Nasdaq: AIQ), a company that operates diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy centers in the US (see story). The deal was originally announced in September, but needed extra time to work out the details. Thai Hot plans to expand Alliance's business to China. Huang Qisen, founder and chairman of Fujian Thai Hot, will become Chairman of Alliance. 

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