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China group buys into True Group; IPO on cards

Hong Kong-listed Tongfang Kontafarma has acquired a sizeable stake in Singapore-based fitness and wellness provider True Group for US$36.7 million in cash, a move that paves the way for the latter to significantly expand its presence across China.
The deal, announced on Tuesday afternoon, will see Tongfang Kontafarma - a Chinese company indirectly invested by Tsinghua University that primarily manufactures and sells prescription drugs - take a 51 per cent stake in True's Singapore and China businesses, as well as a 29 per cent stake in its Taiwan operations.
As part of its longer-term growth strategy, True also intends to pursue an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange within the next two years or so.
True currently owns and operates 26 fitness and yoga centres in Singapore, China and Taiwan, with an annual turnover in excess of US$100 million.
The company's founder and group chief executive officer Patrick Wee said the new partnership with Tongfang Ko…