U.S. Markets closed

Simcere Pharma board OKs buyout deal

The Associated Press

Simcere Pharmaceutical Group plans to go private in a deal with a buyout group led by the Chinese drug developer's founder.

Simcere said Wednesday its board of directors has approved an agreement in which shareholders will receive $9.66 for each American Depositary Share, or ADS. That represents a premium of about 21 percent over Simcere's closing price of $7.96 on March 8, the last trading day before the company announced a buyout offer from founder Jinsheng Ren.

Ren's buyout group includes a company he controls, New Good Management Ltd., and Assure Ahead Investments Ltd. Simcere said in March that the group would pay $9.56 per ADS to acquire all outstanding shares it does not own.

Simcere makes and sells pharmaceuticals in China, and focuses on the treatment of diseases that have high incidence or mortality rates like cancer, strokes or cardiovascular problems.

Ren founded the company in 1995 and had served as Simcere's CEO until last fall, when the company named Hongquan Liu to replace him.

Simcere shareholders still have to approve the deal. The company expects it to close around the end of the year.

U.S.-traded shares of the company closed at $9.36 on Tuesday and have climbed 16 percent so far this year, with much of that gain coming after the company announced the buyout offer in March.