Week In Review: Origin-Centrillion Offers $1.5 Billion For Affymetrix

Deals and Financings

Origin Technologies, a US company with deep China connections, has raised its bid to acquire Affymetrix (NSDQ: AFFX), a US microarray company, to $17 per share (see story). Affymetrix responded by postponing a shareholder vote, scheduled for Thursday, on a $14 per share takeover offer from scientific instruments company Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). Origin is a shell that is tied to Centrillion Technologies, a California genomics company with manufacturing in China and Taiwan. Origin's management includes Wei Zhou, who is also president and CEO of Centrillion and was formerly a VP at Affymetrix.  

Sequoia Capital China is hoping to raise another $1.45 billion in two investment funds, which are supposed to close in early April (see story). The company expects to bring in $500-$550 million for Sequoia China Venture Fund VI LP and $850-$900 million for Sequoia China Growth Fund IV LP, according to Bloomberg. The funds will support China technology companies in many fields, including life science. If Sequoia meets its targets, the two funds would constitute Sequoia's largest China fundraising so far. It has been active in China since 2005. 

Tesaro Inc. (NSDQ: TSRO), a Boston area oncology biotech, closed a $155 million private placement with participation from Ally Bridge Group, a China healthcare investment firm (see story). Tesaro is developing immuno-oncological drugs based on technology in-licensed from AnaptysBio. Ally Bridge, which has invested in more than a dozen oncology companies based in the US, Europe and China, positioned the Tesaro investment as "an important partnership between ABG," and US-based Tesaro.  

Venus Medtech, a Hangzhou-based cardiovascular device company, raised $37 million from Goldman Sachs. Venus specializes in artificial cardiac valves along with stents and other CV products (see story). Usually, Goldman Sachs makes investments in a company prior to an IPO, so apparently Venus is planning a public offering. Venus also announced it established a heart valve research center in partnership with the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine. 

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