The EQT Greater China II fund (“EQT Greater China” or “EQT”) today announced that it has sold its remaining 24.78 percent equity stake in LBX Pharmacy Chain Joint Stock Company SSE:603883 (“LBX” or “the Company”), a leading A-share listed retail pharmacy superstore chain in China, to Primavera and FountainVest (“the Consortium”).
Established in 2001 in the Hunan province, LBX is a leading discount pharmacy superstore chain in China. As of 30 September 2019, LBX operated 3,756 self-owned drugstores and 1,052 sub-franchised drugstores in 22 provinces and municipal cities across China. LBX targets value-conscious customers with low prices, in-store consultation services and membership programs. The Company was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on 23 April 2015 as the first IPO in China with a foreign private equity fund as control or co-control shareholder.
EQT made a co-control investment in LBX in 2008, becoming joint control owners with XIE Zilong, LBX’ Founder and Chairman. Since EQT entered LBX, the corporate governance and management have been strengthened with the addition of key management hires, experienced board members and independent non-executive board members. LBX has leveraged the global EQT Network and deep expertise in the healthcare and retail sectors and visited numerous leading pharmacy groups overseas.
During EQT’s ownership period, more than 40 add-on acquisitions were completed which helped LBX to become the leading chain in new geographies and strengthened LBX’s market position in its existing coverage region.
Martin Mok, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Greater China, commented: “During EQT Greater China’s joint ownership, LBX has captured the fast growth of the retail pharmacy sector in China through successful store openings and upgrades, margin improvement and acquisitions. We are grateful for Mr XIE’s leadership, the insightful contribution of the board members, and the management team’s hard work.”
XIE Zilong, Founder and Chairman of LBX, commented: “EQT provided valuable resources and expertise which contributed to LBX’s strong growth during the last 12 years. With EQT’s strong support and corporate governance model, LBX has built a solid and sustainable foundation for future growth. We are confident that LBX will continue to do well with Primavera and FountainVest as our new partners.”
The transaction was signed and closed on 27 November 2019.
Martin Mok, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Greater China, +852 2801 6823
EQT Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 8 506 55 334
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 41 billion in assets under management across 20 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.
About LBX Pharmacy
Established in 2001 in Hunan province, LBX is a leading discount pharmacy superstore chain in China. As of 30 September 2019, LBX operated 3,756 self-owned drugstores and 1,052 sub-franchised drugstores in 21 provinces and municipal cities across China. LBX targets value-conscious customers with low prices, in-store consultation services and membership programs.
Primavera Capital Group is a leading China-based global investment firm that employs a flexible strategy of growth capital, control-oriented, and restructuring investments, seeking to create long-term value by working closely with portfolio companies to improve operational efficiency, competitiveness, and earnings growth. Founded in 2010, the firm invests in consumer, financial services, TMT, education, and healthcare sectors and has invested in some of the largest and market leading companies in China and globally across these sectors.
FountainVest Partners is one of the most established independent private equity firms in Asia. The Firm focuses on long-term oriented investments in industry leaders, partnering closely with management teams to accelerate growth and create value in diversified areas including in strategy, operations, finance, and capital markets. FountainVest has completed a number of successful landmark investments globally. Sectors of focus include Consumer, Media & Technology, Healthcare, Industrials, and Financial Services.