BGI-Shenzhen subsidiary to buy U.S. competitor for $117.6 million

Earlier this summer, Forbes, building on comments a U.S. Commerce Department official made in Nanjing, wrote that “China will be the big Asian investor buying up pieces of America’s landscape, natural resources and companies.”

Last month, the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Chinese companies are plowing money into U.S. assets at a record pace, making huge bids for American energy, aviation, entertainment and other businesses.”

That trend is alive and well.

Last week, those tracking U.S.-China M&A activity shifted their gazes towards a Chinese genome company.

The spotlight this time was on a city south of Nanjing, just across the border–and accessible via a seamless train trip–from Hong Kong. A U.S. subsidiary of Shenzhen-based genomics company BGI-Shenzhen is purchasing all shares of Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered competitor Complete Genomics Inc. for $117.6 million.

While all-U.S. mergers and acquisition activity has not been terribly active of late given the uncertainties in the U.S. economy and Europe’s future still a major question mark, numerous reports suggest Chinese investment in the United States may hit record levels in 2012.

And spurring on some of this investment is a strong Chinese yuan relative to the U.S. dollar.

The yuan has strengthened against the dollar since July–6.31 yuan bouught 1 U.S. dollar the end of last week, close to a record high for the yuan against the greenback.  The yuan was as strong as 6.29 RMB to 1 USD in February.

About Andrew McIntyre

Andrew McIntyre is Deputy Editor for U.S.-China Today. He received a B.A. (Music) from Emory University and an M.M. (Music Theory) from University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has previously taught at Tangshan Oriental Bilingual School, Communication University of China, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. He is currently a Dean’s Scholar, Teaching Assistant, and M.A. student (Print Journalism) at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
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