Shanghai United Imaging Is Said to Weigh Bid for Supersonic

(Bloomberg) -- Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co. is considering making an offer to buy French medical device maker Supersonic Imagine SA, people familiar with the matter said.

Supersonic is working with Lazard Ltd. to explore options including a sale after receiving takeover interest, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The company could also attract other medical-imaging companies as well as private-equity firms, the people said.

Shares of Supersonic rose 10 percent Tuesday, the biggest intraday gain in more than five months, giving the company a $52.8 million market value.

Chinese health-care companies have continued to pursue foreign acquisitions even as the government reins in offshore investments in other industries like entertainment and real estate. They have announced $4 billion of overseas purchases this year, on track to surpass the record $5.5 billion set in 2017, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

An investor group including Chinese buyout firm CDH Investments Fund Management Co. agreed this year to buy Australia’s Sirtex Medical Ltd. in a deal valuing the target at about A$1.9 billion ($1.4 billion). AstraZeneca Plc this year agreed to sell some international sales and licensing rights to China’s Luye Pharma Group Ltd. for $538 million.

Shanghai United Imaging didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment, and a person who answered the phone at the company’s office declined to transfer calls. Representatives for Lazard and Aix-en-Provence, France-based Supersonic declined to comment.

Supersonic, whose shareholders include state-backed Bpifrance, makes ultrasound imaging systems that help physicians visualize and analyze the stiffness of tissue in a real-time and non-invasive way, according to its website. Deliberations on a potential deal for Supersonic are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said.

Closely held United Imaging, which develops imaging diagnosis and treatment devices, said in September it raised about 3.3 billion yuan ($499 million) in a series A financing round. The fundraising valued the company at about 33.3 billion yuan.

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