Updated May 20, 2018 07:42:36 Drugmaker Ciba-Geigy has bought the Chinese herbal medicine school that has been a darling of the Chinese government.
The company said on Monday it had agreed to buy the company for about $8.6 million, which is a fraction of the $9.3 billion the company paid for the company last year.
The deal was announced in China by the State Council.
The school has been around for at least 15 years.
Ciba, a major Chinese pharmaceutical company, has been looking for a buyer for the business, and is believed to have been in talks with the company about a deal before the company announced its plans to close the business.
It said the deal would result in a significant reduction in costs and help the company “achieve its goals of strengthening the quality of life in China”.
Ciba was previously the world’s largest producer of generic pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, for human use.
In 2018, it announced it would sell off its pharmaceutical operations in Europe, with an aim of diversifying away from its core business.
The Shanghai-based company was also said to be considering other opportunities in the Chinese market.
In the United States, it is the biggest pharma company by market capitalisation, and has had an increasingly large presence in California, Texas and other western states.
The move to buy a Chinese herbal-medicine school has become a lightning rod for criticism of China’s authoritarian regime, and there has been criticism that Ciba is using the business to push its political agenda.
It has been accused of taking advantage of a Chinese state-run pharmaceutical company to try to get a foothold in the market and gain access to Chinese consumers.
However, Chinese state media has dismissed such allegations.