Medtronic plots Chinese M&A

Medtronic ($MDT) is seeking a foothold in the burgeoning Chinese device market, staying on the lookout for potential mergers and acquisitions in the country, China Daily reports.

Without providing details, President of Medtronic Greater China Simon Li told the paper that the Minnesota-based device giant already has some M&A candidates in mind, looking for companies that share "a common vision and business philosophy" with Medtronic.

Medtronic is the first multinational devicemaker to publicly announce its intent to pursue M&A in China, the paper notes, and the company already found some success in the country. In September, Medtronic launched a joint venture with Shandong Weigao Group, one of China's largest medical equipment firms. Medtronic holds a 51% stake in that partnership, and the two opened a Beijing R&D center to develop orthopedic devices.

Successful expansion in China could yield big gains for Medtronic, China Daily reports, as medical equipment sales are projected to reach 400 billion yuan ($62.9 billion) this year and grow about 20% per year through 2015, analysts report.

Of course, the lucrative Chinese market is hardly a well-kept secret among devicemakers, and Medtronic's competitors have already made inroads into the country. St. Jude Medical ($STJ) has set up technology centers there to promote its products, and GE Medical ($GE) constructed an R&D facility in Chengdu, while doubling its Chinese sales staff. Most recently, Covidien ($COV) opened its own $45 million R&D shop in Shanghai.

- read the China Daily story