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Unsolicited offers received for China Cord Blood Corporation shares/business

CORDLIFE Group disclosed that an unsolicited offer for its shares in China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC) announced on July 7 was tabled by Hong Kong-incorporated Robust Plan Limited.

Robust Plan is a wholly owned unit of Shanghai Dunheng Capital Management (SDCM), which is in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of Jiaxing Huiling No 3 Investment Partnership (Huiling).

Shanghai-listed Zhongyuan Union Cell & Gene Engineering Corporation said in its filing with the Shanghai stock exchange that it will be buying the shares of SDCM from Huiling after Robust Plan completes its proposed acquisition of Cordlife's shares in CCBC and the US$25 million convertible notes of CCBC from Cordlife.

Zhongyuan also operates cord blood banks and conducts stem cell research. The offer from Robust Plan was revised since its initial offer was first rejected by Cordlife last week.

CCBC, listed in New York, issued a separate statement on Aug 6 saying that it has received a non-binding acquisition proposal letter from Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co Ltd, which offered to acquire all of its China business, including its equity interests in its Chinese subsidiaries and related assets and resources. The purchase price offered is to be not lower than six billion yuan (S$1.3 billion) paid in cash or shares.

A special committee of CCBC directors will carefully review and evaluate the proposal, CCBC said in the statement.

The buyout offer from Nanjing Xinjiekou surpassed the US$6.40 per share offer from CCBC's biggest shareholder Golden Meditech Holdings. Golden Meditech owns 38.31 per cent of CCBC, while Cordlife Group owns 9.13 per cent, according to Bloomberg.

US-based Jayhawk Capital Management, which holds 13.3 per cent stake in CCBC, had called the offer from Golden Meditech in an open letter on April 30 as "extremely low".