U.S. medical device maker Medtronic Inc. is forming a joint venture with Shandong Weigao Group Medical Polymer Co. Ltd., a large Chinese manufacturer of plastic disposable medical products, to market treatments for spinal and orthopedic injuries in China.
Medtronic of Minneapolis is investing US$221 million (HK$1.73 billion) to take a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, according to terms of the Dec. 17 deal. By buying Weigao's shares, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Medtronic will hold a 15 percent stake in Weihai-based Weigao and take two seats on its board.
A Weigao spokeswoman said the venture does not include the Chinese company's extensive capabilities for making plastic single-use disposable devices like syringes and blood bags. Weigao has developed products such as non-PVC ultradensity polypropylene infusion sets, grades of what it describes as a highly elastic polyolefin for medical applications, and medical-grade PVC granules.
The firm said it makes about 220 million infusion sets and 363 million syringes annually.
The companies plan to market Medtronic's spinal products and Weigao's orthopedic products in China, including therapies for hip, shoulder, spine and trauma, according to a jointly issued news release.
``The collaboration will further broaden our business and raise our [research and development] capability, leveraging our extensive customer network and quality production, paving the way for Weigao to be the leading medical device company in Asia,'' said Chairman Chen Xue Li. ``With our localized knowledge, we hope to play an important role in Medtronic's China strategy.''