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China Cord Blood Corporation (“CCBC”) (NYSE:CO) and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (together with its affiliates, "KKR") announced that they have entered into agreements under which KKR China Growth Fund L.P., a China focused investment fund managed by KKR, is expected to invest $65 million into CCBC, the largest cord blood banking operator in China, to support its further business expansion and to capitalize on China’s fast growing healthcare services industry.
Cord blood contains large quantities of stem cells that, if stored properly, can later be used to treat life-threatening diseases. The applications of cord blood stem cells continue to expand, and can now be used to treat over 80 types of diseases, such as leukemia, lymphoma, thalassemia and inherited immune system disorders. This progress in medical research and clinical applications continues to raise public awareness of the benefits of storing cord blood.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2009, CCBC was the first licensed cord blood banking operator in China, providing collection, testing, processing, and storage services. CCBC runs the largest cord blood banking network in China in terms of geographical coverage, with exclusive licenses to service the city of Beijing, Guangdong Province and Zhejiang Province. This area covers more than 180 million people and has 1.9 million new births annually.
Ting Zheng, Chairperson and CEO of CCBC stated, “CCBC provides an important service to families across China who want to safeguard the lives and health of their newborns. We are delighted to have KKR as our partner. Our senior management team is most impressed by KKR’s global franchise and its strong local track record in China. KKR’s investment is undoubtedly a strong vote of confidence in our company, our management team and our vision for the future.”
“CCBC runs an impressive operation that meets stringent quality standards and provides a critical medical service to its customers. As we continue to build our China portfolio, we are excited to support a company that is dedicated to improving healthcare services and making a positive impact on lives in China,” said David Liu, Member of KKR and CEO of KKR Greater China.