Conventional wisdom states that when something happens three times it’s a trend. Well, the movement of Chinese firms leaving U.S. stock exchanges to list on the Chinese stock market has officially become a trend.
Medical device maker Mindray Medical International (NYSE: MR) announced on Thursday that three executives proposed taking the company private by offering investors $30 per share. The offer is a 9.2% premium on the previous closing price of US$ 27.47.
The offer was put together by the company’s executive chairman, Li Xiting; Xu Hang, chairman of the board; and Cheng Minghe, the co-CEO. They own 27.7% of the company’s shares, but have 63.5% of the voting rights, reported Caixin. The board said that it will form a special committee of independent directors to evaluate the proposal.
This comes on the heels of two other firms reporting they received similar privatization proposals., WuXi PharmaTech, a leading medical tech company in Shanghai, and China Cord Blood, which provides storage for stem cells, made their announcements in April. Then last week, Focus Media Holdings, a Shanghai-based advertising giant that left the New York stock market in 2013, said it would go public in Shenzhen through a backdoor listing.
Established in 1991 Mindray listed in the U.S. in 2006. Since surging to $45.19 in 2007, it has hovered around $30.
The biggest reason a company would depart an overseas stock market was that its shares are undervalued there, Zhang Wenze, deputy director of the investment department of private equity Mountain View Capital, told Caixin.
Whether the shares are truly undervalued is a matter of opinion. And one wonders if moving shares to the surging Chinese markets is just giving them a bubble valuation.
Mindray’s price-earnings (PE) ratio for the trailing 12 months is 18.67, according to Yahoo Finance. This ratio seems appropriate compared to Medtronic, another U.S.-listed medical device manufacturer which posts a multiple of 24.22. Compare that to Jiangsu Yuyue Medical Equipment & Supply, a Shenzhen-listed company similar to Mindray. It has a P/E ratio of 110.54, according to Bloomberg News.
According to Mindray’s prospectus, it is the country’s largest company in the field, but its market value is 22.3 billion yuan. Meanwhile Jiangsu Yuyue has a value of 34.3 billion yuan.
And after looking at Mindray’s fundamentals, you might come away with thinking the company is appropriately valued because it’s performance of late hasn’t been that great. For the first quarter, revenues rose 2.9% year over year, while profits fell 14%.