Cathay Capital Private Equity said Wednesday it invested in Echosens. Financial terms weren’t announced. FuRui Group, the seller, will retain a majority holding of 51 percent. Echosens, of France, develops non-invasive diagnostic products and services for hepatology.
Paris, April 29, 2015
Cathay Capital Private Equity, the first self-made global private equity firm and a leader in cross-border investment in Europe, China, and North America, today announced that it has successfully completed an investment in Echosens, a subsidiary of the FuRui group. Founded in 2001 in France, Echosens is a world-leading high-tech company specializing in non-invasive diagnostic products and services for hepatology. It produces FibroScan®, which is an advanced medical device which carries out non-invasive and quantitative diagnosis to detect liver fibrosis and steatosis. This solution has been approved for sale in over 70 countries around the world.
Cathay Capital is leading a consortium, with two other strategic investors including OrbiMed Advisors, which is entering Echosens’ shareholding structure in the context of a capital increase. This new investment will help the company pursue its growth, particularly through international expansion. The FuRui group will remain the majority shareholder of Echosens, holding 51% of the capital.
Cathay Capital plans to cooperate with the FuRui group in order to help Echosens to accelerate the international growth of its business line in liver disease diagnosis, with a particular focus on expansion of operations within the strategic markets of North America and China. Another key feature of this partnership will be the acquisition of further state-of-the-art medical technologies as a logical next step in order to strengthen Echosens’ product and service offering. The overall aim of these business projects is to transform Echosens into a truly global leader in hepatology and liver disease diagnosis. Meanwhile, by utilizing the capital received from selling shares, FuRui will integrate more medical technologies and devices around the globe, introduce them into the Chinese market and realize in-depth expansion.
This is the first investment made by Cathay Capital’s Sino French (Midcap) Fund, a new investment vehicle launched by Cathay Capital in 2014, with the support of cornerstone investors Bpifrance and China Development Bank. The fund reached its hard-cap of EUR 500 million in December 2014, less than six months after its official launch. This fund focuses on partnering with French, Chinese and European companies of the midcap segment to help them implement their cross-border growth strategies.
Mingpo Cai, President of Cathay Capital Private Equity, commented: “Echosens’ background is strategically aligned with Cathay Capital’s unique cross-border investment philosophy. We are thrilled to be partnering with FuRui in order to support Echosens’ next phase of development. Echosens is a company with high growth potential: with global patents, its products are widely used and recognised for their quality around the world. Its market share is set to continue to grow and we have full confidence in the company’s product innovation potential and established global distribution network, which will be two strong growth levers going forward. Capitalizing on Cathay Capital’s global presence across three continents, we believe our partnership can help the company boost its cross-border growth.”
Guanyi Wang, President of FuRui, added: “Echosens’ partnership with this consortium of investors led by Cathay Capital will help improve its corporate governance structure, while enhancing key technological investments and management experience as part of a sustainable long-term growth strategy. In addition, Cathay Capital has a wide range of resources and practical experience in both the investment and healthcare sectors, which will provide strong support for Echosens’ development. I believe that with the joint efforts of all parties, Echosens is ideally positioned to become a world-renowned brand in the global diagnosis field for hepatology.”
Claude Lenoir, CEO of Echosens, stated: “Cooperating with this consortium of investors led by Cathay Capital will help diversify and strengthen our shareholding structure. Echosens is undertaking a new and exciting phase of its growth story, in which expanding our international footprint will play a major part on the road ahead. These new investors will provide us with the means to broaden our products and service range while pursuing our acquisition strategy, all of which will contribute to ensure our leadership in the field of liver disease diagnosis.”
About Cathay Capital Private Equity
Cathay Capital Private Equity, founded by Mingpo Cai and Edouard Moinet in Paris in 2006, is the leading global middle-market, private equity firm created by Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs. As an expert in creating value through cross-border investments in Europe, China and North America, Cathay Capital is fully dedicated to helping its portfolio company management teams focus on growth and succeed beyond their home base. Cathay’s unique platform on three continents – and offices currently located in Shanghai, Beijing, New York and Paris – as well as its multicultural team including thirty investment professionals, enables the firm to locally accelerate cross-border growth strategies through its broad local ecosystems.
As of December 31, 2014, Cathay Capital had invested in 36 companies and over 900 million Euros under management.
Founded in 2001, the company Echosens has developed a unique technology based on shear wave velocity: the VCTE (Vibration-Controlled Transient Elastography). It designed and manufactured its first medical device for liver disease diagnosis in 2004, the FibroScan®. From 2005, many medical publications endorsed Echosens’ technology and the FibroScan®, and they now number nearly a thousand. In 2011, the Chinese company Inner Mongolia FuRui Medical Science acquired all the shares of Echosens, which continued its development through the growth of its subsidiaries in Madrid, Bonn, Hong-Kong and Shanghai and nearly 40 distribution partners in the world. In 2012, Echosens acquired the FibroMeter® in order to add to its service range before receiving authorization from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for its technology in 2013. The group today exports its products, which are all exclusively manufactured in France, in around 70 countries throughout the world.