China PE firm makes takeover bid for Singapore's Biosensors

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

Singaporean device player Biosensors International just informed investors that China's state-owned Citic Group has made a takeover bid. Biosensors is currently reviewing the offer and said "there is no certainty or assurance that these discussions will result in any transaction."

Specifically, the offer was made by Citic Private Equity Funds Management "for the proposed amalgamation of the company with CB Medical Holding Limited." Bermuda-based investment holding company CB Medical is also a part of the Citic empire, according to Bloomberg.

Via CB Medical, Citic in 2013 acquired a 21.7% stake in Biosensors from Shandong Weigao Group Medical Polymer for $312.3 million, according a JP Morgan analyst note.

The Citic Group was interested in a takeover of Biosensors last year as well, causing trading in Biosensors shares to halt after their price spiked on the news. At the time, Bloomberg reported that the deal would have been the second largest by a private equity firm in the last decade. But in August 2014, Biosensors informed investors that the investment company decided not to pursue the transaction.

Biosensors recently announced the launch of BMX-J cardiac drug-eluting stent in Japan. Overall, the company makes angioplasty balloons and drug-eluting and bare-metal stents for both the coronary artery and the leg's superficial femoral artery. The company also makes critical care devices like blood pressure transducers, venous catheters and blood sampling kits, as well a cardiac imaging device.

Biosensors has a market capitalization of 1.1 billion Singapore dollars ($787 million) on the Singapore Exchange, and reported a net profit of $9.4 million on revenues of $67 million during the first quarter, which ended on June 30, 2015. Its stock sells for 0.68 Singapore dollars per share, though trading has been halted since Oct. 23, when the Citic Group's bid was made.

This isn't the first Citic Group is interested in a medical device player. In May it was rumored to be interested in China's Mindray Medical, pushing its stock up 16% on the New York Stock Exchange. But that deal didn't occur either. Instead Mindray's management is making a bid to take the company private. They recently reduced their offer price by 10%, citing weaker financial performance and global financial market instability.

The Citic Group was also a part of an unsuccessful $1 billion bid for Bayer's diabetes device business, which ended up in the hands of private equity-owned Panasonic Healthcare in exchange for $1.15 billion. In addition, the investment company is an investor in China's Frankenman Medical Equipment, which is partnering with Boston Scientific on developing products for its home market.

- read the company's announcement
- here's Bloomberg's take