Week In Review: Walgreens Boots Alliance Spends $420 Million For China Pharmacy Presence

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA), a global retail pharmacy chain, will pay $420 million to acquire a 40% stake in Sinopharm Holding GuoDa Drug Store Co, the largest retail pharmacy chain in China (see story). GuoDa is a subsidiary of state-owned Sinopharm, the largest pharmaceutical company in China, and it is the industry's revenue leader for the past five years, with nearly 3,700 stores in 70 major cities across China.  

Ping An Good Doctor, one of China’s most popular online medical platforms, plans a $1 billion IPO on the Hong Kong exchange during the first half of 2018 (see story). The platform can be used to consult doctors on line and schedule appointments. Users may be able to order prescriptions in the future. In 2016, Good Doctor raised $500 million in an initial funding that valued the business at $3 billion. The company has signed up Citigroup and JPMorgan to run the initial offering.  

Zhenxing Biopharmaceutical & Chemical (SHZ: 0403), a blood plasma company, raised $322 million by selling a 19% share of the company to Kaisa Group Holdings (see story). Kaisa is a China company known mostly for construction, though it also already owns several healthcare companies. It said the investment would provide diversification and immediate revenues. Zhenxing, which operates mainly in Guangdongand Hunan provinces, has a market capitalization of $1.4 billion.  

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) formed a strategic joint venture with the Chinese Future Industry Investment Fund (FIIF) to develop and commercialize new drugs in China (see story). FIIF is managed by the state-owned SDIC Fund. The JV, named Dizal Pharma, will take over AstraZeneca's Shanghai Innovation Center, including all of its staff and three projects in pre-clinical development. Dizal, headquartered in WuxiCity, will have $132.5 million in cash, presumably FIIF's contribution, giving the JV, which is equally owned by AstraZeneca and FIIF, a valuation of $265 million.

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