(Bloomberg) -- China National Pharmaceutical Group Co. is considering a revived bid for China Traditional Chinese Medicine Holdings Co. that could value the Hong Kong-listed drugmaker at around $4 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The state-backed firm known as Sinopharm, which holds a controlling stake in China TCM, is talking with advisers about a new offer to potentially take the company private, the people said, after pulling a previous attempt last year. Sinopharm and its advisers are discussing a potential offer of about HK$6 for each China TCM share, while no final decision has been made, the people said.
A deal would be the biggest take-private for a Hong Kong-traded company since appliance maker Haier Electronics Group Co.’s $5 billion acquisition in 2020. The potential bid would give China TCM investors nearly a 60% premium to the traditional drugmaker’s closing share price on Wednesday of HK$3.77 each.
Shares in China TCM climbed 17.2% Thursday after jumping as much as 28%, their largest intraday move since 2013. The company has a market value of HK$22.2 billion ($2.8 billion).
An offer could come as soon as in the coming weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Deliberations are ongoing and details of the offer could change, said the people.
A spokesperson for China TCM said in response to queries from Bloomberg News that the company hasn’t received any information that Sinopharm is considering taking China TCM private, and that it is untrue. Sinopharm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
China TCM disclosed in 2021 that Sinopharm was exploring a proposal to take the company private, and in August that year announced that the owner had decided not to proceed. Sinopharm holds about 32% of China TCM’s shares.
The company produces Chinese traditional medicine herbs, granules, finished drugs and health supplements, according to its interim report. China TCM reported revenue of 5.9 billion yuan ($845 million) for the half-year ended June 30, down about 27% from the same period last year, the report shows.
Sinopharm’s business ranges from drugs to medical equipment. The company makes one of the inactivated Covid-19 vaccines distributed in China, its website shows.
--With assistance from Dong Lyu and Lorretta Chen.
(Updates with share move in fourth paragraph.)
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