* Biotest welcomes talks with Chinese suitor
* Other potential bidders had approached Biotest
* Biotest in drive to double output capacity
* No premium offered for non-voting shares
(Adds CEO comments, advisor names)
By Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss
FRANKFURT, March 30 Chinese investor Creat Group
Corp has offered to buy German blood plasma products maker
Biotest for about 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion)
including debt following its purchase last year of British peer
Bio Products Laboratory.
"The Board of Management and Supervisory Board welcome the
discussions," Biotest said, adding the suitor would back an
ongoing investment drive to more than double output capacity by
Biotest Chief Executive Bernhard Ehmer told a news
conference on Thursday that Creat had not been the only
potential bidder to approach Biotest about a deal but it chose
to talk to Creat because its proposal was "thought through".
No negotiations with other parties were taking place at
present, a person close to the matter said.
Biotest said Creat had proposed a purchase price of 28.50
euros per ordinary share, a 43 percent premium over
Wednesday's closing price.
However owners of preference shares without voting rights
and therefore unable to block or approve any deal would be
offered only 19 euros apiece, a slight discount to Wednesday's
19.02 euro close.
The preference shares slipped almost 5 percent
to 18.08 euros at 1445 GMT, while the ordinary shares jumped 25
percent to 25 euros.
OGEL, the investment vehicle of late company founder Hans
Schleussner's family, holds slightly more than half of Biotest's
ordinary shares with voting rights.
Biotest, whose products are used to treat blood coagulation
disorders, auto-immune diseases and immune deficiencies, said
the potential deal was still subject to final negotiations and
an agreement with majority shareholder OGEL.
Creat also holds a stake in Biotest peer Shanghai RAAS Blood
Products, which competes with groups such as CSL
Behring, Grifols and Shire unit Baxalta.
Germany and China have been involved in an increasingly
public dispute about access to each others' markets, with China
complaining about unfair scrutiny of its acquisition targets in
Germany, and Germany wanting a more level playing-field for its
firms in the world's second-largest economy.
Due to the talks, Biotest said it postponed its annual
shareholder meeting, initially planned for May 10, to a later
date, which was yet to be announced.
Biotest's share capital is split evenly between ordinary and
preference shares, with latter share class being completely in
Creat agreed in May last year to acquire British biotech
firm Bio Products Laboratories (BPL) from Bain Capital for 820
million pounds ($1.02 billion).
Biotest, which is being advised by Credit Suisse,
suffered a setback last week when its partner Immunogen
decided to cease work with Biotest on bringing an experimental
blood cancer treatment to the U.S. market.
Bank of America is advising Creat.
($1 = 0.9313 euros)
(Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Keith Weir)