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August 15, 2017

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Chinese pharma firms bidding for stake in Arbor

A unit of China’s Fosun Group and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co are among bidders for a stake in US speciality drugmaker Arbor Pharmaceuticals LLC, the companies said yesterday.

The bids come as Chinese companies face tightening scrutiny on their overseas investments. Chinese regulators are reviewing deal agreements in minute details, and have cracked down on some large domestic conglomerates, including Fosun, for their debt-fueled acquisitions abroad.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd said in a stock exchange filing its Hong Kong unit submitted on July 19 a non-binding bid for a stake in Arbor, which is backed by private equity firm KKR & Co LP.

In a separate filing, Shanghai Pharma also said it had submitted a non-binding bid for a stake in Arbor on the same day.

Both firms did not disclose the quantum of stakes they had bid for nor the financial terms but said they have not entered exclusive talks with the seller.

Fosun Pharma said its Hong Kong unit will begin conducting due diligence to determine further steps.

Arbor has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to manage the sale process, which has attracted around half a dozen preliminary bids, mostly from Chinese companies and private equity firms, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some of the bidders may seek to acquire control of the company, said two of the people, adding that discussions are at an early stage still.

A potential deal could value Arbor at around US$3 billion, two of the people said.

Bloomberg News, which first reported on the sale process, said the bidders were seeking to buy 20 percent to 30 percent of Arbor.


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