Aussie gov't approves Chinese takeover of pharmaceutical company Vitaco

Updated 2016-10-24 12:59:33 Xinhua

Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) on Monday approved a Chinese takeover of pharmaceutical giant Vitaco in a deal set to be worth more than 235 million U.S dollars.

Following the announcement of the planned sale in August this year, the Chinese bid lodged by Shanghai Pharma and Primavera Capital was approved by the government on Monday following approval from Chinese regulators earlier this year.

The last piece of the puzzle for the Chinese partnership is approval from Vitaco's shareholders who are due to vote on the takeover before the end of the year.

It's expected the deal, which will result in Shanghai Pharma and Primavera Capital paying 2.25 Australian dollars (1.71 U.S dollars) per share, will be approved by the shareholders. The current share price of the company is 2.07 U.S dollars (1.57 U.S dollars).

Vitaco is best known for the production of its Nutra-Life vitamin brand, as well as its Aussie Bodies sports nutrition range.

The FIRB approval comes following tough times for Chinese investment in Australia. The federal Turnbull government, which has previously stated that Australia was "open for business", had blocked Chinese-backed bids for Australia's largest pastoral landholding, S. Kidman & Co., as well as the nation's largest electricity distributor, Ausgrid.

S. Kidman & Co. bid was blocked by Treasurer Scott Morrison on "national interest grounds", while the Ausgrid bid was rejected due to national security concerns.

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