Financial details of the proposed transaction were not disclosed. The companies expect the deal to close early next year.
The Chinese consortium includes the following:
- Private equity fund Shanghai Yunfeng Xinchuang Investment Management
- Medical imaging equipment manufacturer Beijing Wandong Medical Technology
- Shanghai FTZ Fund Management, a free-trade zone fund with investments in the healthcare sector
- Healthcare investment group Shanghai Tianyi Industries Holding, which has interests in Meinian Onehealth Healthcare, Wandong, and Ciming Health Checkup Management Group
- Jiangsu Yuyue Science and Technology Development, the holding company of Jiangsu Yuyue Medical Equipment and Supply
- Shanghai Kangda Medical Equipment Group, an original equipment manufacturer and distributor of medical imaging equipment.
The consortium is being led by Jack Ma, a Chinese entrepreneur who runs Yunfeng and who founded Alibaba.com, the leading e-commerce firm in China.
Esaote will continue to operate as an independent medical equipment company headquartered in Genoa, Italy, and maintain its current R&D and manufacturing facilities in Italy and the Netherlands. CEO Karl-Heinz Lumpi also will remain in his current position.
"We are ready to embark on an exciting next journey for the company with the support of our new shareholders, who are highly committed to the healthcare industry and see a great future for Esaote," Lumpi said. "We look forward to learning from and leveraging their deep knowledge and experience of the Chinese market where the potential for growth is significant, especially considering that the ultrasound sector alone is worth nearly 1.3 billion euros in China."
The consortium plans to utilize the distribution networks of Wandong, Yuwell, Meinian, and Kangda to increase Esaote's penetration into the Chinese medical imaging equipment market. In return, Esaote will distribute the Chinese companies' medical products in international markets where Esaote operates.
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