Chinese medicine retailer Hunan Laobaixing Drugs has secured US$82 million in venture capital funding from Sweden’s Investor AB, the largest ever venture capital investment made in the retail pharmaceutical sector, China Business News reported. The drug retailer will use the money to help found a joint venture company called Sino-foreign Joint Venture Hunan Laobaixing Drugs. It will own 52% and foreign partners 48%. Laobaixing, which was the country’s first budget medicine retailer when launched in 2001, operates more than 80 outlets across the nation. It earned US$351.18 million (RMB2.4 billion) in revenues in 2007, by which point it had US$146.33 million (RMB1 billion) in total assets. Chairman Xie Zilong said a recently delayed public listing will be put off further until 2010 due to the capital injection.

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