Chinese glucose monitor maker Sinocare (SZ:300298) and a sovereign wealth fund there are said to be in the hunt for the diabetes business Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is looking to unload.
The New Brunswick, N.J.-based healthcare conglomerate early last year announced a strategic review of its LifeScan, Animas and Calibra Medical diabetes businesses and later elected to shutter the Animas insulin pump subsidiary.
LifeScan, which makes the OneTouch glucose monitor, and Calibra Medical’s insulin delivery device operation could be worth $3 billion to $4 billion to Chinese buyers, Reuters reported, citing “five people with direct knowledge” of the negotiations. It’s unclear whether they’re interested in all of J&J’s diabetes assets or just parts, according to the wire service.
Sinocare, which paid $273 million for Nipro (TYO: 8086) in January 2016, is leading a consortium of buyers. The sovereign fund interested in the buyout is China Investment Corp. unit China Jianyin Investment, which has hired an advisor to work on the buy, two of the sources told Reuters. Three others said Johnson & Johnson tapped Goldman Sachs, according to the report; the investment bank declined to comment.
“The evaluation of potential strategic options for LifeScan Inc. and Calibra Medical Inc. is ongoing and we do not have an announcement regarding these businesses at this time,” J&J said in prepared remarks.
Sinocare said it couldn’t confirm the story and JIC and CIC did not respond to requests for comment. The sources declined to be identified, according to the wire report.
Sinocare shares closed down -0.7% at ¥20.68 ($3.21) apiece today. JNJ shares were up 0.4% to $147.50 each in pre-market trading.
($1 = ¥6.43436)