Carlyle-backed Meinian Onehealth snaps up Ciming for $415M

Carlyle private equity-backed Meinian Onehealth Healthcare snapped up Ciming Health Checkup Management for $415 million for the remaining 72% of the shares it did not hold in a deal that is part of a broader move to consolidate medical exam and disease screening services in China.

Carlyle bought 13.5% of Shanghai-based Meinian Onehealth in 2012 through Carlyle Beijing Partners Fund, according to the Carlyle Group website. The purchase of Ciming--based in Beijing--gives it a strong presence in the market for medical exam services as a battle with another clinic-based provider, iKang Healthcare Group ($KANG), heats up.

Meinian Onehealth bought a 28% stake in Ciming in 2015 for an undisclosed price.

In a consolidation frenzy in the sector, the last round of action in January saw Meinian Onehealth Healthcare and a group of investors raising their bid to $25 per American Depositary Share (ADS), $50 per share in cash, for all outstanding shares of Nasdaq-listed iKang.

That's an increase from a December bid of $23.50 per ADS and from an original bid of $22 per ADS for iKang. The investors include units of Ping An Insurance, Taiping Asset Management, Huatai Ruilian Fund Management, Sequoia China Investment Management and Cathay Capital Private Equity.

Word on the state of play of the offer has been sparse, with iKang results due on March 14 possibly providing an update.

Meinian Onehealth has more than 130 medical exam centers in about 80 cities throughout China and claims to have a customer base of 10 million. It was founded in 2004. In 2014 iKang went public in the U.S. on Nasdaq and raised $153 million while Meinian became listed in Shenzhen via a reverse merger with Jiangsu Sanyou Group.

The cash outlay also comes on top of plans by Meinian Onehealth to seek $292 million through a rights issue to pay for expansion plans.

- here's the release (Chinese language)