Cardinal Health has agreed to sell its Chinese pharmaceutical and medical-products distribution business to a local rival. In a statement, Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding said Wednesday it would acquire Cardinal Health China for $557 million after the exclusion of debt and other accounting adjustments. It put the “base payment” figure at $1.2 billion, the same price tag Cardinal Health attached to the deal in a separate release. The Dublin, Ohio-based company said it would hold on to its remaining operations in China, such as its heart-product division Cordis and its recently acquired patient-recovery business. Cardinal Health has been a distributor in China for seven years and “we recognize that significant scale is required to be a market leader” there, Chief Executive George Barrett said in a statement. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has taken a hit from a drop in generic-drug prices this year.
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