(Refiles to clarify AGIC has a $1 billion fund)
HONG KONG, April 21 (Reuters) - AGIC Capital, which has a $1
billion Asian-European private equity fund, agreed on Friday to
buy Central European medical laser company Fotona from U.S.
investment firm The Gores Group, targeting growth in China and
other Asian countries.
AGIC, founded by veteran China dealmaker Henry Cai in 2015,
did not disclose financial details of the deal, though a person
with knowledge of the purchase pegged the value between $100
million and $250 million.
AGIC is betting its knowledge of China and other Asian
countries will help Fotona, which makes lasers for medical,
dental and aesthetic surgeries and treatments, deepen its
expansion in the region. The company has grown 30-50 percent
annually in China the past few years, outgrowing the market
average of 20 percent, said Sam Sun, AGIC's greater China head.
"The demand is really driven by a growing Chinese middle
class and their desire to treat themselves better and have
better care for their health and body," Sun told Reuters in an
interview on Friday.
Gores bought Fotona for a reported 18 million euros ($25
million) in 2014, when Slovenia's government sold a series of
state assets to revive the economy. http://reut.rs/2oXxJMy
AGIC's investment follows a similar move by Shanghai Fosun
Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd, which acquired
Israel-based Alma Lasers Ltd, a maker of lasers used in cosmetic
surgery, for $240 million in 2013. http://reut.rs/2osIVQi
The global market for medical lasers is excepted to surge to
about $13 billion by 2022 from nearly $5 billion in 2015,
according to research firm Stratistics Market Research
Consulting. Over the forecast period, Asia Pacific will be the
fastest growing market because of rising disposable income and
increasing healthcare expenditure, particularly in China and
These medical acquisitions also come amid Beijing's plan to
overhaul the country's underdeveloped healthcare sector and
raise the global competitiveness of domestic industry. In the
"Made in China 2015" blueprint, Beijing named high-end medical
devices and biopharmaceutical as pillar sectors, among others.
The takeover of Fotona is AGIC's third investment since its
establishment by Cai.
Last year, it joined a Chinese consortium led by state-owned
China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) to buy German
industrial machinery maker KraussMaffei for about $1 billion,
then the largest outbound investment from China into Germany. It
also snapped up a majority stake in Italian robotic firm Gimatic
for about 100 million euros. http://reut.rs/1OhBu6h
(Writing by Julie Zhu; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and David