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GNC’s shares soar after announcing US$300mln investment from China’s Harbin Pharmaceutical

Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Ltd (Hayao) is to invest US$300mln in the health and performance supplements retailer, becoming the company’s single largest shareholder
China is the largest international market for supplements.

GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNC) shares soared 25% in early trading after it unveiled a US$300mln strategic investment and a joint venture in China.

Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Ltd (Hayao) is to invest US$300mln in the health and performance supplements retailer, becoming the company’s single largest shareholder.

READ: GNC pulls plans to borrow in the bond, loan markets, hires Goldman Sachs to evaluate alternatives

GNC and Hayao have also agreed to form a joint venture for the manufacturing and distribution of GNC-branded products in the fast growing Chinese market.

The US retail group said as well that, it is looking to extend the maturity date of its existing term loan facility by two years to March 2021.

Ken Martindale, GNC’s chief executive, said: "By partnering with Hayao we enhance our capital structure and financial flexibility and establish a strong platform for growth in the Chinese market.

In a separate statement, GNC also unveiled its fourth-quarter numbers which saw the company report a net loss per share of US$2.99, down from a US$6.36 per share net loss in the same period a year earlier, as quarterly revenue fell to US$557.7mln, down from US$569.9mln the year before.

In early New York trading, GNC’s shares were 25% higher at US$5.25.

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