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Medtronic buys stake in Weigao
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United States medical equipment maker Medtronic Inc will pay HK$1.73 billion (US$221 million) for a 15-percent stake in a Chinese medical accessories supplier to expand in China, it said yesterday.


Medtronic, the world's largest maker of medical products for spinal conditions, will also set up a joint venture with Shandong Weigao Group Medical Polymer Co to market therapies in the spinal and orthopedics sectors in China, according to Business Wire.


"China is key to our global strategy as we continue to expand our geographic footprint," said Bill Hawkins, Medtronic president and chief executive.


"Weigao has a broad orthopedic and trauma product line that complements Medtronic's offerings, but even more importantly, we feel we can generate synergies with their very strong presence and reputation in China."


Medtronic will gain the 15-percent stake in Shandong Weigao through buying about 81 million newly issued shares at HK$11 apiece from Weigao, which is listed in Hong Kong. It will buy the same number of Weigao's unlisted ordinary shares from Weigao's existing shareholders at HK$10 per share.


Medtronic will have 51 percent in the joint venture, which will market Medtronic's spinal products and Weigao's orthopedic products.


Shandong Weigao, which makes infusion sets, syringes, blood bags and medical needles, has a sales network covering 5,400 hospitals.


(Shanghai Daily December 19, 2007)

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