BRIEF-Zhejiang CONBA Pharma gets regulatory approval for private placement
April 1 (Reuters) - Zhejiang CONBA Pharmaceutical Co Ltd
* Says gets securities regulator's approval to issue up to
175 million shares in private placement
Source text in Chinese: http://bit.ly/1yzgG0j
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(Reporting by Hong Kong and Singapore newsrooms)
After bagging Philips unit, China fund says to seek more deals
By Elzio Barreto and Deena YAO
HONG KONG (Reuters) - - Chinese investment fund GO Scale Capital will use its $2.8 billion (1.9 billion pounds) winning bid for Philips's lighting unit as a model to pursue other potential takeovers in areas such as biomedicine and clean energy, its executives said on Wednesday.
Beijing-based GO Scale has roped in well-connected China Internet and green technology investors, such as GSR Ventures and billionaire solar magnate Cheng Kin Ming. U.S-based Oak Investment Partners is also a backer of the fund.
The last-minute Philips bid trumped marquee buyout firms, including a joint offer by KKR & Co and CVC Capital and a separate one from Bain Capital, driving home the reality that a new breed of Chinese suitors with deep business connections and confidence to strike global deals are here to stay.
GO Scale Capital is now seeking acquisitions in life sciences and new materials among others, which would help propel the little-known Chinese investment shop to the global stage.
"It's a model for us in the future, linking up global resources with the China market," Cheng told a media conference, referring to the Philips deal.
GSR Ventures has about $1 billion under management, while bigger partner Oak has invested $9 billion since it was founded nearly 40 years ago. The two companies have previously jointly invested in LED lighting firm SunSun Lighting and battery maker Boston Power, where Cheng is also an investor, among others.
GO Scale expects to generate about five times return on its initial investment in the Philips unit, called Lumileds, said Sonny Wu, chairman of GO Scale.
GO Scale said the acquisition will be financed in part with its own funds, funds from Cheng's Asia Pacific Resources Development Investment Ltd, unnamed institutional partners and investors that have participated in GSR and Oak's funds.
Like other Chinese acquirers of global companies and brands, GO Scale plans to tap into demand from mainland China.
China has huge potential market for a lot of clean technologies that could use the local market to gain scale before being used globally, Allan Kwan, a venture partner of Oak, said in an interview.
"The future is more about consolidation of the industry. For example, Philips Lumileds could be the platform to start to absorb potential technologies or industry players that can help it grow even faster," added Kwan, who was part of Yahoo! International when the U.S. Internet giant made a $1.7 billion investment in Alibaba.com in 2005 before he joined Oak.
(Editing by Denny Thomas and Muralikumar Anantharaman)
Japan's Sony Corp. halves stake in Olympus
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp has halved its stake in camera and endoscope maker Olympus Corp and is no longer its top shareholder, according to Olympus.
Sony now owns 5 percent of Olympus shares compared to 10 percent as of end-September 2014, Olympus said in a statement.
Sony bought shares in Olympus in 2012, providing it with cash to fix its depleted finances after an accounting scandal forced it to restate several years of earnings.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Miral Fahmy)
Japan's Takeda offers $2.2 bn to settle US drug lawsuits: report
Japan's top drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical has offered $2.2 billion to settle US claims linked to its diabetes drug Actos, in what would be one of the biggest US payouts over patient lawsuits, a report said Wednesday.
Citing three people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News said the firm has offered the huge settlement to close more than 8,000 lawsuits alleging it concealed the medicine's cancer risks.
The proposal would amount to a payment of about $275,000 for each case, the report said, adding that a final deal has not yet been reached.
Last year a federal jury in Louisiana ordered Takeda and US-based Eli Lilly & Co. to pay a combined $9.0 billion in damages to a patient who said Actos had caused his bladder cancer. A judge later cut the payout to $36.8 million.
Takeda has faced at least nine trials since 2013 over claims it tried to cover up Actos' cancer risks, including the Louisiana trial.
The company won three cases and some other damage awards have been quashed or are being appealed, Bloomberg said.
But five juries have found the company liable for patients' injuries, it added.
A Tokyo-based spokesman for Takeda declined to discuss the lawsuits or comment on Wednesday's report.
Actos sales peaked in the year ended March 2011 at $4.5 billion and accounted for more than one quarter of Takeda's revenue at the time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Former users accused Takeda executives of ignoring or playing down worries about the drug's cancer links before it went on sale in the US in the late 1990s, and then misleading US regulators about the risks.
Eli Lilly was Takeda's US marketing and sales partner until 2006, with the US firm keeping the rights to sell Actos in parts of Asia and Europe as well as in Canada and Mexico.
Video shows last seconds of Germanwings flight before crash - Bild
BERLIN (Reuters) - A video showing the chaotic final seconds on board the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps last week has been discovered near the site, Germany's Bild daily reported on Wednesday, saying it had seen the footage.
The video was found on a mobile phone belonging to one of the passengers killed on the flight when German pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew into a mountain, said the paper.
The scenes seen on the video were chaotic and very wobbly, said Bild, adding screams and shouts of "My God" could be heard, indicating the passengers knew what was happening.
Prosecutor Brice Robin, who is handling the case in France, said none of the mobile telephones collected at the crash site had been sent for analysis.
"All are for now being kept at Seynes-Les-Alpes. If people at the site have picked up mobile phones, I am not aware of it," he told Reuters by telephone. France's BEA investigation authority could not immediately be reached for comment.
On the video, which Bild described as being "indisputably authentic", a banging of metal could be heard at least three times, possibly the sound of the pilot who had been locked out of the cockpit by Lubitz trying to break through the door.
Near the end there was a heavy shake and the cabin tilted sharply to one side. After further screams the video ended, said the paper.
The footage appeared to have been taken from near the back of the plane but no individuals could be identified, said Bild.
French magazine Paris Match also ran a story on the video and printed an account of a conversation between the two pilots, according to a "special investigator".
When the captain left the cockpit to go to the toilet, he told Lubitz that he was in control. "I hope so", Lubitz replied, according to the magazine.
Later the captain implored Lubitz to let him in.
Lufthansa said on Tuesday that Lubitz had told officials at the airline's training school in 2009 that he had gone through a period of severe depression, raising questions about screening process for pilots. Prosecutors have said he suffered from "suicidal tendencies" before obtaining his pilot's license.
Lufthansa is facing legal action from relatives of the victims and Chief Executive Carsten Spohr will be at the crash site in France on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Francois Revilla and Andrew Callus in Paris and Victoria Bryan in Berlin; Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Noah Barkin)
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