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Jack Ma-Backed Yunfeng Capital Joins Acquisition Of Italian Biomedical Equipment Firm Esaote

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Italian biomedical equipment maker Esaote S.p.A. announced that a consortium of Chinese investors, including Yunfeng Capital co-founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma, have entered into definitive agreements to acquire the entire share capital of the company.

Financial details were not disclosed. Other Chinese investors include China’s largest listed medical imaging equipment manufacturer Beijing Wandong Medical Technology Co., Ltd. and home care medical equipment manufacturer Jiangsu Yuyue Science & Technology Development Co., Ltd.

Chinese distributor of medical imaging equipment Shanghai Kangda Medical Equipment Group Corporation Ltd., as well as two investment groups with healthcare focus Shanghai FTZ Fund Management Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Tianyi Industries Holding (Group) Co., Ltd. also participated in the deal.

The transaction gives Esaote enhanced access to the rapidly expanding Chinese medical equipment market. The consortium seeks to leverage the distribution networks of Wandong, Yuwell, Meinian and Kangda to increase Esaote’s penetration in the Chinese medical imaging equipment market. In parallel, Esaote will distribute the consortium’s relevant medical products in international markets where the company operates.

“The cooperation between Esoate, Yuyue Group is a landmark and a highly synergic transaction in the global medical image equipment industry. It combines not only the two companies’ complementary market reaches in international markets and in China, but also the complementary product lines and remarkable talents." said Guangming, chairman of Yuyue and Wandong.

Headquartered in Genoa, Italy, Esaote provides biomedical equipment including ultrasound, dedicated MRI and software for managing the diagnostic process. It currently employs 1,200 people and has research and development and manufacturing facilities in Italy and the Netherlands, The company reported a consolidated revenue of 270 million (US$317 million) in 2016.

"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 EUR 1.3 billion in China," said Karl-Heinz Lumpi, CEO of Esaote.

Esaote will continue to operate as an independent company and Karl-Heinz Lumpi will continue to lead the company. The transaction is subject to the conditions customary to a transaction of this nature and the parties expect a timely closing in early 2018.

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