January 19, 2018 / 7:20 PM / 6 months ago

Biotest sheds U.S. business to allay U.S. concerns of Chinese takeover

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Biotest (BIOG.DE) said on Friday that it has sold its U.S. operations, allaying national security concerns by U.S. authorities and paving the way for the German company’s sale to a Chinese investor.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had initially blocked the sale of the German blood plasma products maker to the Chinese investor Creat Group Corp.

The sale of U.S. operations, to an undisclosed buyer and for an undisclosed price, means that Biotest’s sale to Creat would proceed.

“Thus, the last remaining condition has been met for the takeover offer,” Biotest said in a statement.

Biotest, whose products are used to treat blood coagulation disorders, auto-immune diseases and immune deficiencies, agreed in April to be taken over by Creat in a 1.3-billion-euro ($1.59 billion) cash deal.

But in November, Biotest disclosed that CFIUS had national security concerns about the transaction.

The company, based in Dreieich near Frankfurt, generated around 20 percent of the group’s revenues in the United States in 2016, according to its annual report.

It said that the U.S. business would be placed in a trust until the sale closed.

U.S. concerns over sensitive technology falling into Chinese hands have scuppered several deals over the past couple of years. CFIUS last year also blocked German chipmaker Infineon’s (IFXGn.DE) attempts to buy Wolfspeed Power, a unit of U.S. LED lighting maker Cree (CREE.O).

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Adrian Croft

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