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China Guangdong Nuclear Buys Hong Kong-Listed Drug Supplier

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March 24 (Bloomberg) -- CGNPC Uranium Resources Co., a nuclear power company owned by the Chinese government, paid more than HK$984 million ($126 million) for control of Vital Group Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-listed pharmaceutical supplier.

CGNPC Uranium bought 4.28 billion Vital Group shares at 23 Hong Kong cents each, according to a March 22 filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. That’s equivalent to 276 percent of Vital Group’s share capital, the filing showed. CGNPC Uranium is part of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, owner of the Guangdong Daya Bay Power Station and Ling Ao Nuclear Power Station, according to its website.

Two calls made to the office of Vital Group executive director James Liu weren’t answered. China Guangdong Nuclear spokesman Liu Kaixin declined to comment.

Vital Group suspended trading in Hong Kong on March 3 pending an announcement about the possible restructuring of the company. It said on Jan. 25 that a supplier had lost the Chinese import license for one of its main drug products. Shareholders and investors were advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares, the statement said.

Three years ago CNNC Nuclear International Uranium Corp., a unit of the nation’s biggest atomic power plant operator, China National Nuclear Corp., bought a stake in Hong Kong-listed aluminum and zinc die-casting company United Metals Holdings Ltd. and changed its name.

The renamed CNNC International Ltd. in 2009 bought Canada-listed Western Prospector Group, which explores for uranium in Mongolia. It acquired uranium assets in Niger from its parent last year, the China Daily reported.

Vital reported nine-month profit to the end of September of HK$55.5 million, according to unaudited figures on Dec. 13. The company employed about 1,000 people as of the end of June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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