Biosensors sells out to Chinese private equity firm for $787M

Singapore devicemaker Biosensors International is handing over the rest of its business to the private equity arm of China's Citic Group for 1.1 billion Singapore dollars ($787 million), a week after Citic made a takeover bid for the company.

Citic Private Equity Funds Management will shell out 60 cents a share for the stock it doesn't already own in Biosensors, a 24% premium to Biosensors' last closing price of 48 cents a share, Bloomberg reports. In November 2013, Citic snatched up 22% of the company for $312.3 million. A few months later the Beijing-based equity firm came knocking again with plans to buy the rest of the company, sending Biosensors' shares surging and causing trading to halt.

A deal makes sense for Biosensors, which has been struggling under the weight of slumping revenues and market slowdown for its products. The company, which is valued at about 1.1 billion Singapore dollars ($787 million), makes angioplasty balloons and drug-eluting and bare-metal stents for the coronary artery and the leg's superficial femoral artery, and also offers critical care devices such as blood pressure transducers and blood sampling kits. In its most recent quarter, Biosensors reported a net profit of $9.4 million on revenues of $67 million.

BioMatrix NeoFlex drug-eluting coronary stent--Courtesy of Biosensors International

Citic also stands to benefit from the deal, as it can expand its device footprint in Asian markets. Biosensors recently launched its innovative BMX-J drug-eluting stent system in Japan, the third-largest single-country market in the world for the devices after the U.S. and China. The product, which incorporates a biodegradable polymer coating and an immunosuppressive drug, offers an alternative to traditional drug-eluting stents used in the country. Biosensors sees big potential for the device in the Japanese market, planning to expand distribution channels to increase coverage and ramp up sales.

This is not the first time Citic has dabbled in medical device M&A. The firm was part of a $1 billion bid for Bayer's diabetes care unit, but Panasonic Healthcare ended up walking away with the deal in June for $1.15 billion.

In March, rumors swirled that Citic was planning a takeover of China's Mindray Medical ($MR). But Mindray decided to take the company private instead, recently reducing its offer price by 10% due to weak revenues and an unstable global market for its devices.

- read the Bloomberg story

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