Registration No. 333-165161
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
CHINA BCT PHARMACY GROUP, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
No. 102, Chengzhan Road
Liuzhou City, Guangxi Province, P.R.C. 545007
Tel.: (86) 772-363-8318
(Address and Telephone Number of Registrant’s Principal
Executive Offices and Principal Place of Business)
Corporation Service Company
2711 Centerville Road Suite 400
Wilmington, Delaware 19808
(Name, Address and Telephone Number of Agent for Service)
Copies of communications to:
Thomas Wardell, Esq.
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
303 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Tel No.: (404) 527-4990
Fax No.: (404) 527-8890
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement becomes effective. If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box. T
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration Statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. £
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. £
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. £
If delivery of the prospectus is expected to be made pursuant to Rule 434, please check the following box. £
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
(1) Represents the total number of shares of common stock issued to 135 investors in the registrant’s private placement of 893.91 units. Each unit consists of (i) 3,937 shares of common stock, and (ii) a warrant to purchase 1,968 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $3.81 per share.
(2) Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457. Although there is an established public trading market for our common stock on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (the “OTCBB”), the trading has been limited. Accordingly, the proposed maximum offering price is based on the market price of our shares of common stock on March 2, 2010.
(3) Represents the number of shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of the investor warrants at an exercise price of $3.81 per share.
(4) Calculated pursuant to Rule 457(g).
(5) Represents the number of shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of the co-placement agent warrants at an exercise price of $3.05 per share.
(6) In the event that the total number of shares of common stock registered herein (the “Registrable Securities”) exceeds the limitation set forth pursuant to Rule 415, the number of Registrable Securities to be registered herein will be reduced first by the Registrable Securities owned by the co-placement agents and second, on a pro rata basis, among the investors based on the total number of unregistered shares of common stock underlying the investor warrants on a fully-diluted basis.
(7) A fee of $1,191.81 was previously paid with the initial filing.
THE REGISTRANT HEREBY AMENDS THIS REGISTRATION STATEMENT ON SUCH DATE OR DATES AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO DELAY ITS EFFECTIVE DATE UNTIL THE REGISTRANT SHALL FILE A FURTHER AMENDMENT WHICH SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT THIS REGISTRATION STATEMENT SHALL THEREAFTER BECOME EFFECTIVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 8(a) OF THE SECURITIES ACT OR UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON SUCH DATE AS THE COMMISSION, ACTING PURSUANT TO SUCH SECTION 8(a), MAY DETERMINE.
The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
Subject to completion, dated February 17 , 2011
CHINA BCT PHARMACY GROUP, INC.
5,630,575 Shares of Common Stock
This prospectus relates to the resale by the selling stockholders identified in this prospectus of up to 5,630,575 shares (the “Shares”) of our common stock, par value $0.001 per share, including (i) 3,519,340 shares of our common stock currently issued and outstanding, (ii) 1,759,301 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of warrants issued to our investors (the “Investor Warrants”), and (iii) 351,934 shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of the warrants issued to our co-placement agents in the private placement (the “Agent Warrants” and, together with the Investors Warrants, the “Warrants”). The Shares were issued to the selling stockholders in private placement transactions which were exempt from the registration and prospectus delivery requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
The selling stockholders may offer all or part of their Shares for resale from time to time through public or private transactions, at either prevailing market prices or at privately negotiated prices. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the Shares by the selling stockholders, but we will receive funds from the exercise of the Warrants if and when those Warrants are exercised on a cash exercise basis. However, there is no assurance that such Warrants will be exercised. In addition, we will not receive any additional proceeds to the extent the Warrants are exercised on a cashless exercise basis. We are paying all of the registration expenses incurred in connection with the registration of the Shares, but we will not pay any of the selling commissions, brokerage fees and related expenses.
Our common stock is quoted on the OTCBB under the symbol “CNBI”. On February 14 , 2011, the last reported sale of our common stock quoted on the OTCBB was $2.75 per share.
The selling stockholders, and any broker-dealer executing sell orders on behalf of the selling stockholders, may be deemed to be “underwriters” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Commissions received by any broker-dealer may be deemed underwriting commissions under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 6 to read about factors you should consider before investing in shares of our common stock.
NEITHER THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMITTEE NOR ANY STATE SECURITIES COMMISSION HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED OF THESE SECURITIES OR DETERMINED IF THIS PROSPECTUS IS TRUTHFUL OR COMPLETE. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
The Date of This Prospectus is __________, 2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This summary highlights selected information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all the information that you should consider before investing in the common stock. You should carefully read the entire prospectus, including “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the financial statements before making an investment decision.
References in this prospectus to the “PRC” or “China” are to the People’s Republic of China. Except as otherwise specifically stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to collectively (i) China BCT Pharmacy Group, Inc. (f/k/a China Baicaotang Medicine Limited), a corporation incorporated in the State of Delaware; (ii) Ingenious Paragon Global Limited (“Ingenious”), a British Virgin Islands company which is a wholly-owned subsidiary; (iii) Forever Well Asia Pacific Limited (“Forever Well”), a Hong Kong company which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ingenious; (iv) Guangxi Liuzhou Baicaotang Medicine Limited (“Liuzhou BCT”), a PRC wholly foreign-owned enterprise (“WFOE”) which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Forever Well; (v) Hefeng Pharmaceutical Co. Limited (“Hefeng Pharmaceutical”), a PRC company which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liuzhou BCT; and (vi) Guangxi Liuzhou Baicaotang Medicine Retail Limited (“BCT Retail”), a PRC company of which 49% of its registered capital was contributed by Liuzhou BCT and 51% of its registered capital was contributed by Baicaotang Property Management Limited (“Property Management”), an affiliated company.
References to BCT Retail’s “registered capital” are to the equity of BCT Retail, which under PRC law is measured not in terms of shares owned but in terms of the amount of capital that has been or will be contributed to a company by a particular shareholder or all shareholders. The portion of a limited liability company’s total capital contributed by a particular shareholder represents that shareholder’s ownership of the company and the total amount of capital contributed by all shareholders is the company’s total equity. Capital contributions are made to a company by deposits into a dedicated account in the company’s name, which the company may access in order to meet its financial needs. When a company’s accountant certifies to PRC authorities that a capital contribution has been made and the company has received the necessary government permission to increase its contributed capital, the capital contribution is registered with regulatory authorities and becomes a part of the company’s “registered capital.”
We are engaged in pharmaceutical distribution, retail pharmacy and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals through our three subsidiaries Liuzhou BCT, Hefeng Pharmaceutical, and BCT Retail, each of which is located in Guangxi Province, China.
We have integrated operations in the following business segments:
Pharmaceutical distribution is our principal business. We conduct our wholesale business through Liuzhou BCT by purchasing from pharmaceutical product suppliers and then distributing the products to our wholesale customers, including hospitals, retail drug stores, other pharmaceutical wholesalers, clinics, medical centers, and individuals. Our pharmaceutical distribution business is focused on the market of Guangxi province, which includes major cities such as Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin, and which has approximately 50 million people. We operate a large regional wholesale pharmaceutical networks in Guangxi province supported by strategically placed warehouse facilities. For the year ended December 31, 2009, revenue generated from our pharmaceutical distribution segment was $97.1 million, or 71.4% of our total revenues for the year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2010 our pharmaceutical distribution segment accounted for approximately 70.6% of our total revenue after elimination of inter-segment sales.
We distribute over 8,000 products from nearly 4,000 suppliers through our wholesale distribution in compliance with applicable PRC regulations. Hefeng Pharmaceutical, which is one of our wholly owned subsidiaries, is also one of our suppliers. In 2009 revenue derived from the distribution of third-party products constituted 99% of our pharmaceutical distribution segment revenue.
PRC rules and regulations require most public hospitals and healthcare institutions to purchase medicines from pharmaceutical distributors through a centralized tendering process, which includes the implementation of government-mandated price controls. The manufacturers of provincial catalog medicines that are on the hospitals’ formularies are invited to bid and participate in the centralized tendering process, which they must do directly. The bidding process covers multiple categories of medicines used by the hospitals. A duly organized committee of pharmaceutical and clinical medical experts is responsible for bid evaluations. Selection is based on a number of factors, including bid price, quality, clinical effectiveness, and manufacturer’s reputation and service. The supply of a particular type of medicine is generally made on a non-exclusive basis by multiple manufacturers and distributors. We typically advise and assist pharmaceutical manufacturers in the hospital tendering process and distribute products of pharmaceutical manufacturers upon purchase orders being made by the hospitals after the bidding process.
The Guangxi centralized-online tendering system was started in 2006, and in 2009 the tendering started to be applied also under the New Rural Co-operative Health Insurance Plan. At the first tendering in 2009 we were awarded distribution rights for six counties and townships under the New Rural Co-operative Health Insurance Plan, including Liuzhou, Yizhou, Lipu, Gongchen, Luzhai Laibin and Heshan, and were selected as one of two exclusive distributors for these territories.
Established in 2001, BCT Retail operates a large regional pharmaceutical retail network in Guangxi province, consisting of 137 directly owned retail stores in Guangxi province under the registered name “Baicaotang 百草堂.” Our retail stores provide convenient, high quality and professional pharmaceutical services and supply a wide variety of medicines, including western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (“TCM”), dried Chinese herbal medicine, roughly processed Chinese herbal medicine, family planning products, and seasonal medicine. Among the 137 stores, there are 26 stores that are medi-care qualified stores, where customers are able to make their purchases either by cash or by using their medi-care insurance card for payment. For the year ended December 31, 2009, revenue generated from our retail pharmacy segment was $31.2 million, or 22.9% of our total revenues for the year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2010 our retail pharmacy segment accounted for approximately 23.9% of our total revenue after elimination of inter-segment sales.
Hefeng Pharmaceutical has a manufacturing facility on approximately 40,000 square meters of land and manufactures four types of products:
Hefeng Pharmaceutical produces and sells pharmaceutical products under the registered name “Asio (亚太)” including: traditional anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs, cancer treatment drugs, cardio-vascular disease drugs and hepatitis drugs. Hefeng Pharmaceutical’s best-selling products include:
In addition, Hefeng Pharmaceutical collaborates with several renowned medical research universities in China to continuously improve its raw material abstraction efficiency and production process, and to develop alternative formulas for existing drugs. For the year ended December 31, 2009, revenue generated from our manufacturing segment was $7.7 million, or 5.7% of our total revenues for the year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2010, our manufacturing segment accounted for approximately 5.5% of our total revenue after elimination of inter-segment sales.
The growth profile of Guangxi province is based on the following three factors:
Corporate Structure and History
We were originally incorporated in the State of Delaware on November 30, 2006 under the name Purden Lake Resource Corp. to engage in the acquisition, exploration and development of natural resource properties. Prior to December 23, 2009 we were a blank check company with nominal assets. We changed our name to China Baicaotang Medicine Limited on December 24, 2009 and to China BCT Pharmacy Group, Inc. on March 25, 2010.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Ingenious is a British Virgin Islands corporation that owns 100% of the issued and outstanding capital stock of Forever Well, a Hong Kong company. Forever Well is the sole shareholder of Liuzhou BCT, a PRC wholly foreign-owned enterprise. Liuzhou BCT contributed 100% of the registered capital of Hefeng Pharmaceutical and 49% of the registered capital of BCT Retail. The remaining 51% of the registered capital of BCT Retail was contributed by Property Management, an affiliate of Liuzhou BCT.
We do not have direct 100% ownership interest in BCT Retail due to the restriction of foreign investment in pharmacy chains with 30 or more drugstores. We have entered into contractual arrangements with Property Management pursuant to which we loaned money equal to 51% of the registered capital of BCT Retail to the shareholders of Property Management and such Property Management shareholders pledged their 51% equity interests in BCT Retail. In addition, pursuant to a Proxy Agreement we entered into with Property Management, we effectively control BCT Retail and therefore, have consolidated BCT Retail with China BCT Pharmacy, Group and its subsidiaries.
The chart below illustrates the current structure of the Company:
In 2008, the shareholders of Liuzhou BCT (the “Liuzhou BCT Shareholders”) and Xiaoyan Zhang, our CFO, developed a restructuring plan for Liuzhou BCT to obtain the benefits available to a U.S. public company (the “Restructuring”). The first step was for Forever Well to acquire 100% of the equity interests of Liuzhou BCT and its subsidiaries (the “PRC Operating Companies”).
In this step, Forever Well, a Hong Kong company formed by Mr. Ping-Ki Yue, was to acquire the PRC Operating Companies. The second step in the Restructuring was for Ingenious, which was 100% owned by Ms Zhang, to acquire Forever Well and the third step was for Ingenious to enter into and complete a transaction with a U.S. public reporting company whereby that company would acquire Ingenious.
The first step was completed in conjunction with the second step so that as the PRC Companies became subsidiaries of Forever Well, Forever Well was acquired by Ingenious. As part of the second step of the Restructuring, the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders entered into an earn-in agreement (the “Earn-In Agreement”) which provided the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders with a process under which they could purchase for a nominal amount the shares of common stock held by Ms. Zhang.
Under the Earn-In Agreement, Ms. Zhang holds legal title to the shares for the five-year term of the agreement or until the shares have been purchased by the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders. Thereafter, the shares can only be transferred upon the agreement of both Ms. Zhang and the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders. For the term of the Earn-In Agreement or until the shares are purchased by the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders, Ms. Zhang holds all of the governance rights with respect to the shares.
After completion of the first and second steps in the Restructuring, the parties concluded that they needed another agreement to complete the Earn-In Agreement and the restructuring process. They therefore entered into the so-called "entrust shareholding" agreements with respect to each of the first and second steps; they made these agreements effective as of the effective date of the first and second steps. These agreements recited that a third-party would maintain the governance rights and economic benefits of the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders during the period of the Earn-In Agreement. The two entrust shareholding agreements were identical except that the third party in the first was Mr. Ping Ki Yue and in the second was Ms. Zhang. The first agreement had been supplanted by the second even at the time it was signed. Under the second agreement, Ms. Zhang, as owner of the shares, had all voting power and, upon notice from her with respect to a matter, the former shareholders might choose to express a preference as to how she would vote the shares; the agreement also confirmed that the former shareholders’ economic interest in the shares was preserved as in the Earn-In Agreement.
These agreements were in fact never utilized and the parties determined that they had been mistaken in their decision to create them and that the Earn-In Agreement expresses entirely the parties’ relationship with respect to the shares and with each other. Representatives of the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders hold the majority of seats on the board of the Company. The Earn-In Agreement reflects the intent and purpose of the parties in undertaking and accomplishing the Restructuring. And following the accomplishment of the third step in the Restructuring, the Earn-In Agreement is the operative agreement for all purposes with respect to the relationship of the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders to the Company. The parties having recognized the mistake, for all of these reasons, the entrust shareholding agreements were rescinded as of their effective dates and the Earn-In Agreement governs the rights of the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders with respect to the shares held by Ms. Zhang.
Under the Earn-in Agreement, Ms. Zhang has legal title to the shares and there are no limits on her voting rights with respect to the shares. Under the Earn-In Agreement, the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders have the right to obtain the economic benefits of the shares by purchasing the shares upon the Company's attaining the low financial thresholds in the agreement which trigger their purchase rights. Ms. Zhang also has no authority to transfer the shares. This can only be done with the agreement of the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders. Therefore, were the Company not to attain the thresholds that have been placed in the Earn-In Agreement, we anticipate that the agreement would be further modified to establish thresholds that were or are attainable.
On December 30, 2009, the goal of the Restructuring was realized when we took the third step and entered into a share exchange agreement with Ingenious, pursuant to which we acquired 100% of the equity of Ingenious in exchange for the issuance of an aggregate of 32,000,000 shares of our common stock to Ms. Zhang and to certain former Liuzhou BCT Shareholders (the “Share Exchange”). As of the date of this prospectus, Ms. Zhang owns 58.9% of our common stock although, as a consequence of the Earn-In Agreement ownership of these shares also resides in the Liuzhou BCT Shareholders. As a result of this transaction, we are a holding company which, through our direct and indirect ownership of Ingenious, Forever Well, Liuzhou BCT, Hefeng Pharmaceutical, and BCT Retail, now has operations based in the PRC.
On October 23, 2009, we entered into a subscription agreement (the “Subscription Agreement”) with certain investors (the “Investors”) for the sale of up to an aggregate of 1,147 units (the “Units”) in a private placement (the “Private Placement”). Simultaneously with the closing of the Share Exchange, we completed the initial closing of the Private Placement of approximately $6.3 million or 632.3 Units (the “Initial Closing”). Upon the Initial Closing, we issued an aggregate of 2,489,370 shares of our common stock and Investor Warrants exercisable for up to 1,244,368 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $3.81 per share. In addition, in connection with the Initial Closing of the Private Placement, we issued Agent Warrants to the placement agents (the “Co-Placement Agents”) that are exercisable for 248,937 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $3.05 per share. The funds were held with Signature Bank, acting as escrow agent, and were released to us upon the consummation of the Initial Closing. The closing of the Share Exchange was a condition precedent to the closing of the Private Placement.
On February 1, 2010, we completed the second closing of the Private Placement of approximately $2.6 million (the “Second Closing”) of 261.61 Units, consisting of an aggregate of 1,029,970 shares of our common stock and Investor Warrants exercisable for 514,933 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $3.81. In connection with the Second Closing, we issued Agent Warrants to the Co-Placement Agents that are exercisable for 102,997 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $3.05 per share on a cash or cashless basis. The funds were held with Signature Bank, acting as escrow agent, and were released to us upon the consummation of the Second Closing.
We entered into a placement agency agreement (the “Placement Agent Agreement”) with the Co-Placement Agents on October 21, 2009 whereby the Co-Placement Agents received as compensation for acting as placement agent in the Private Placement (i) a total cash fee and a non-accountable marketing allowance in the amount of approximately $0.86 million; and (ii) Agent Warrants to purchase up to 302,521 shares of common stock. Pursuant to participating agent agreements by and among Charles Vista, LLC, May Davis and American Capital, Charles Vista, LLC received as compensation for acting as a sub-agent in the Private Placement (i) a cash fee in the amount of approximately $0.22 million; and (ii) Agent Warrants to purchase up to 49,413 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $3.65 per share. The Co-Placement Agents were responsible for raising the minimum offering amount of $5,820,000 of Units and were compensated as set forth above.
Agreement to Sell Preferred Shares
On January 18, 2011, the Company entered into an agreement (the “Preferred Purchase Agreement”) with Milestone Longcheng Limited (“Milestone”) pursuant to which Milestone will purchase 9,375,000 shares of the Company’s Series A Convertible Preferred Shares, par value $.001 per share (the “Preferred Shares”), for an aggregate purchase price of $30 million. The Preferred Shares carry a dividend of 5% and are convertible initially into an equal number of shares of our Common Stock at an initial conversion price of $3.20 per share. The transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions, including the completion of the amendment of our Certificate of Incorporation to increase our authorized capital to 170 million shares of capital stock consisting of 150 million shares of Common Stock (an increase of 50 million shares) and 20 million shares of blank-check preferred stock which our board of directors will have the authority to issue (the “Amendment”) and the filing of the Amendment and of the Certificate of Designation adopting the terms of the Preferred Shares. All necessary board and stockholder action to approve adoption of the Amendment have been taken and the Amendment will be complete upon filing with the Delaware Secretary of State which will occur 20 days after the mailing to our stockholders of an information statement pursuant to Section 14(c) of the Exchange Act. We filed this information statement with the SEC on January 18, 2011 and will mail it at the earliest date available in accordance with provisions of Section 14(c) and the regulations thereunder. The board has also approved the Certificate of Designation, subject to the filing of the Amendment. The Certificate of Designation will be filed after the filing of the Amendment in connection with the closing of the sale of the Preferred Shares.
In connection with this transaction, the Company and Milestone also entered into a registration rights agreement and, with certain of the Company’s principal stockholders, a shareholders agreement. The registration rights agreement provides for registration under the Securities Act of 1933, under various circumstances, of the shares of Common Stock into which the Preferred Shares can be converted. Under the Preferred Purchase Agreement, Milestone (or successor holders of the Preferred Shares) will have the right to name one director and to recommend an additional independent director to the Company’s board of directors, which we expect will be increased to seven directors after closing of the transaction. The Purchase Agreement also provides that Milestone (or successor holders) will have consent rights with respect to certain operating matters. The shareholders agreement provides limitations on the rights of the principal shareholders to engage in competing businesses in the event that they are no longer employed with the Company and also provides a process for their sale of their shares, including first offering them to the holders of the Preferred Shares and co-sale rights of the holders. Under the Certificate of Designation, the holders of Preferred Shares have pre-emptive rights with respect to future offerings and have voting rights with the Common Stock as well as separate voting rights with respect to certain extraordinary transactions. After issuance, the Preferred Shares will represent 18.5% of the outstanding share capital of the Company on a fully-diluted basis. These shares, together with the shares of Common Stock owned by Ms. Zhang (representing approximately 44.3% of the outstanding share capital after this transaction on a fully-diluted basis) will hold the majority voting interest in the Company. The principal agreements with respect to this transaction have been filed as exhibits to our report on Form 8-K describing the transaction and filed with the SEC on January 18, 2011. We anticipate that the transaction will be closed approximately 30 days after signing or as soon there after as we and Milestone determine.
Where You Can Find Us
Our principal executive office is located at No. 102 Chengzhan Road, Liuzhou City, Guangxi province, China and our telephone number is (86) 772-363-8318. Our corporate website is www.china-bct.com. Information contained on, or accessed through our website is not intended to constitute and shall not be deemed to constitute part of this prospectus.
Risks Relating to Our Business
OUR OPERATING HISTORY MAY NOT SERVE AS AN ADEQUATE BASIS TO JUDGE OUR FUTURE PROSPECTS AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
Our operating history may not provide a meaningful basis on which to evaluate our business. We cannot assure you that we will maintain our profitability or that we will not incur net losses in the future. We expect that our operating expenses will increase as we expand. Any significant failure to realize anticipated revenue growth could result in significant operating losses.
WE MAY BE UNABLE TO COMPETE SUCCESSFULLY AGAINST NEW AND EXISTING COMPETITORS.
The major market for our products and business operations is the cities, villages and towns of Guangxi province. We may face increasing competition in the future as we expand our business in Guangxi province and our adjacent provinces. As we expand our operations in wholesale and retail distribution and manufacture of pharmaceutical products, we will encounter competition from other companies existing in our target markets, such as Sinopharma and Liuzhou Medical and Pharmaceutical Limited in the pharmaceutical distribution area, Shenzhen Accordance Pharmacy Chain Store and Hunan Laobaixing Pharmacy Chain in the retail area and Harbin Pharmaceutical Group, Guangdong Boluo Xianfeng Pharmaceutical Group and Jiangsu Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical and Sixth Pharma Factory in the manufacturing area, and may face future competition from new foreign and domestic competitors entering the pharmaceutical promotion and distribution market in China. Our current and future competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new or changing opportunities and customer requirements and may be able to undertake more extensive promotional and distribution activities, offer more attractive terms to customers, and adopt more aggressive pricing policies. Competition could reduce our market share or force us to lower our prices to unprofitable levels.
OUR CURRENT BUSINESS OPERATIONS RELY HEAVILY UPON MR. HUI TIAN TANG, OUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND CHAIRMAN, AND ADDING OTHER KEY EMPLOYEES ARE ESSENTIAL TO GROWING OUR BUSINESS.
We have been heavily dependent upon the expertise and management of Mr. Hui Tian Tang, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and his continued services. The loss of Mr. Tang’s services could seriously interrupt our business operations. Although we have entered into an employment contract with Mr. Tang, pursuant to which Mr. Tang agrees to serve as our full time Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Tang has not indicated any intention of leaving us, the loss of his service for any reason could have a very negative impact on our ability to fulfill our business plan. In addition, we face competition for attracting skilled personnel. If we fail to attract and retain qualified personnel to meet current and future needs, this could slow our ability to grow our business, which could result in a decrease in market share.
THE LIMITED PUBLIC COMPANY EXPERIENCE OF OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM COULD ADVERSELY IMPACT OUR ABILITY TO COMPLY WITH THE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS OF U.S. SECURITIES LAWS.
Our management team has limited public company experience, which could impair our ability to comply with legal and regulatory requirements such as those imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Our senior management has never had sole responsibility for managing a publicly traded company. Such responsibilities include complying with federal securities laws and making required disclosures on a timely basis. Our senior management may not be able to implement programs and policies in an effective and timely manner that adequately respond to such increased legal, regulatory compliance and reporting requirements, including the establishing and maintaining internal controls over financial reporting. Any such deficiencies, weaknesses or lack of compliance could have a materially adverse effect on our ability to comply with the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), which is necessary to maintain our public company status. If we were to fail to fulfill those obligations, our ability to continue as a U.S. public company would be in jeopardy in which event you could lose your entire investment in our company.
IF WE NEED ADDITIONAL CAPITAL TO FUND OUR GROWING OPERATIONS, WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO OBTAIN SUFFICIENT CAPITAL AND MAY BE FORCED TO LIMIT THE SCOPE OF OUR OPERATIONS.
In connection with our growth strategies, we may experience increased capital needs and accordingly, we may not have sufficient capital to fund our future operations without additional capital investments. Our capital needs will depend on numerous factors, including (i) our profitability; (ii) the release of competitive products by our competition; (iii) the level of our investment in research and development; and (iv) the amount of our capital expenditures, including acquisitions. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain capital in the future to meet our needs.
If we cannot obtain additional funding, we may be required to: (i) limit our investments in research and development; (ii) limit our marketing efforts; and (iii) decrease or eliminate capital expenditures. Such reductions could materially adversely affect our business and our ability to compete.
Even if we do find a source of additional capital, we may not be able to negotiate terms and conditions for receiving the additional capital that are acceptable to us. Any future capital investments could dilute or otherwise materially and adversely affect the holdings or rights of our existing shareholders. In addition, new equity or convertible debt securities issued by us to obtain financing could have rights, preferences and privileges senior to our common stock. We cannot give you any assurance that any additional financing will be available to us, or if available, will be on terms favorable to us.
IF WE FAIL TO INCREASE OUR BRAND RECOGNITION, WE MAY FACE DIFFICULTY IN OBTAINING NEW CUSTOMERS AND BUSINESS PARTNERS.
We believe that establishing, maintaining and enhancing our brand in a cost-effective manner is critical to achieving widespread acceptance of our current and future services and is an important element in our effort to increase our customer base and obtain new business partners. We believe that the importance of brand recognition will increase as competition in our market develops. Some of our potential competitors already have well-established brands in the pharmaceutical promotion and distribution industry. Successful promotion of our brand will depend largely on our ability to maintain a sizeable and active customer base, our marketing efforts and our ability to provide reliable and useful services at competitive prices. Brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue, and even if they do, any increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in building our brand. If we fail to successfully promote and maintain our brand, or if we incur substantial expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to promote and maintain our brand, we may fail to attract enough new customers or retain our existing customers to the extent necessary to realize a sufficient return on our brand-building efforts, in which case our business, operating results and financial condition would be materially adversely affected.
AS A DISTRIBUTOR AND MANUFACTURER OF PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS, WE ARE EXPOSED TO INHERENT RISKS RELATING TO PRODUCT LIABILITY AND PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS.
Pharmacies are exposed to risks inherent in the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical and other healthcare products, such as with respect to improper filling of prescriptions, labeling of prescriptions, adequacy of warnings, unintentional distribution of counterfeit drugs. In addition, product liability claims may be asserted against us with respect to any of the products we sell and as a retailer, we are required to pay for damages for any successful product liability claim against us, although we may have the right under applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations to recover from the relevant manufacturer for compensation we paid to our customers in connection with a product liability claim. We may also be obligated to recall affected products. If we are found liable for product liability claims, we could be required to pay substantial monetary damages. Furthermore, even if we successfully defend ourselves against this type of claim, we could be required to spend significant management, financial and other resources, which could disrupt our business, and our reputation as well as our brand name may also suffer. We, like many other similar companies in China, do not carry product liability insurance. As a result, any imposition of product liability could materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we do not have any business interruption insurance due to the limited coverage of any business interruption insurance in China, and as a result, any business disruption or natural disaster could severely disrupt our business and operations and significantly decrease our revenue and profitability.
THE RETAIL PRICES OF SOME OF OUR PRODUCTS ARE SUBJECT TO CONTROL, INCLUDING PERIODIC DOWNWARD ADJUSTMENT, BY PRC GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES.
A number of our pharmaceutical products, primarily those included in the national and provincial medical insurance catalogs, are subject to price controls in the form of fixed retail prices or retail price ceilings. Approximately 60% to 70% of our total retail sales are subject to these price controls. In addition, the retail prices of these products are also subject to periodic downward adjustments as the PRC governmental authorities seek to make pharmaceutical products more affordable to the general public. Since May 1998, the relevant PRC governmental authorities have ordered price reductions of thousands of pharmaceutical products. The latest price reduction occurred in October 2008 and affected 1,357 different pharmaceutical products. Any future price controls or government mandated price reductions may have a material adverse affect on our financial condition and results of operations, including significantly reducing our revenue and profitability.
THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF DAYS DURING WHICH OUR ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE ARE OUTSTANDING HAS INCREASED WHICH MAY NEGATIVELY AFFECT OUR BALANCE SHEET AND OUR ABILITY TO COLLECT OUR RECEIVABLES AND FUND OUR OPERATIONS AND.
Across all of our pharmaceutical, distributing and manufacturing segments the numbers of days during which our receivables are outstanding has increased significantly in 2009 and in 2010. In the pharmaceutical distribution segment we are obtaining a greater percentage of revenue from hospitals and community health centers who traditionally have a slower payment cycle. In our manufacturing segment, we have also experienced an increase in the days during which our receivables are outstanding, because we have extended more generous credit terms to certain of our customers based upon their history with us and in view of the overall financial crisis. If this slower time to collection should result in an inability to collect a greater percentage of our receivables than previously, the result would be a decrease in the cash available to fund our operations as well as an increase in reserves for receivables which would reduce their value on our balance sheet.
WE MAY BE SUBJECT TO FINES AND PENALTIES IF WE FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE APPLICABLE PRC LAWS AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING SALES OF MEDICINES UNDER THE PRC NATIONAL MEDICAL INSURANCE PROGRAM.
Eligible participants in the PRC national medical insurance program, mainly consisting of urban residents in China, are entitled to buy medicines using their medical insurance cards in an authorized pharmacy, provided that the medicines they purchase have been included in the national or provincial medical insurance catalogs. The pharmacy, in turn, obtains reimbursement from the relevant government social security bureaus. Moreover, the applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations prohibit pharmacies from selling goods other than pre-approved medicines when purchases are made with medical insurance cards, as well as providing cash to the customer for the medical insurance card. We have established procedures to prohibit our drugstores from selling unauthorized goods to customers who make purchases with medical insurance cards. However, we cannot assure you that those procedures will be strictly followed by all of our employees in all of our stores. If we fail to observe the above laws, rules and regulations with respect to purchases made with medical insurance cards, we may be fined and our qualification for selling medicines included in the national or provincial medical insurance catalogs may be withdrawn by competent authorities.
OUR RETAIL OPERATIONS REQUIRE A NUMBER OF PERMITS AND LICENSES IN ORDER TO CARRY ON THEIR BUSINESS.
Drugstores in China are required to obtain certain permits and licenses from various PRC governmental authorities, including GSP certification. We are also required to obtain food hygiene certificates for the distribution of nutritional supplements and food products other than medicine. We cannot assure you that we can maintain all required licenses, permits and certifications to carry on our business at all times, and from time to time we may have not been in compliance with all such required licenses, permits and certifications. Moreover, these licenses, permits and certifications are subject to periodic renewal and/or reassessment by the relevant PRC governmental authorities and the standards of such renewal or reassessment may change from time to time. We intend to apply for the renewal of these licenses, permits and certifications when required by then applicable laws and regulations. Any failure by us to obtain and maintain all licenses, permits and certifications necessary to carry on our business at any time could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any inability to renew these licenses, permits and certifications could severely disrupt our business, and prevent us from continuing to carry on our business. Any changes in the standards used by governmental authorities in considering whether to renew or reassess our business licenses, permits and certifications, as well as any enactment of new regulations that may restrict the conduct of our business, may also decrease our revenue and/or increase our costs and materially reduce our profitability and prospects. Furthermore, if the interpretation or implementation of existing laws and regulations changes or if new regulations come into effect requiring us to obtain any additional licenses, permits or certifications that were previously not required to operate our existing businesses, we cannot assure you that we may successfully obtain such licenses, permits or certifications.
WE MAY HAVE DIFFICULTY DEFENDING OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS FROM INFRINGEMENT RESULTING IN LAWSUITS REQUIRING US TO DEVOTE FINANCIAL AND MANAGEMENT RESOURCES THAT WOULD HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON OUR OPERATING RESULTS.
We regard our trademarks and other similar intellectual properties as critical to our success. We rely on trademark and other similar intellectual properties, as well as confidentiality and license agreements with certain of our employees, customers and others to protect our proprietary rights. We have received trademark registration for certain of our products in the PRC. No assurance can be given that our licenses will not be challenged, invalidated, infringed or circumvented, or that our intellectual property rights will provide competitive advantages to us. There can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain a license from a third-party technology that we may need to conduct our business or that such technology can be licensed at a reasonable cost.
Presently, we sell our products mainly in PRC. To date, no trademark or patent filings have been made other than in PRC. To the extent that we market our products in other countries, we may have to take additional action to protect our intellectual property. The measures we take to protect our proprietary rights may be inadequate and we cannot give you any assurance that our competitors will not independently develop formulations and processes that are substantially equivalent or superior to our own or copy our products.
WE MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY COMPLEXITY, UNCERTAINTIES AND CHANGES IN CHINESE REGULATION OF DRUGSTORES AND THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.
The Chinese government regulates drugstores, including foreign ownership, and the licensing and permit requirements. These laws and regulations are relatively new and evolving, and their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainty. As a result, in certain circumstances it may be difficult to determine what actions or omissions may be deemed to be a violation of applicable laws and regulations. Issues, risks and uncertainties relating to Chinese government regulation of the industry include the following:
THERE IS NO ASSURANCE THAT WE WILL PAY DIVIDENDS TO SHAREHOLDERS IN THE FUTURE.
Although Liuzhou BCT, our wholly owned subsidiary, declared and paid to its then existing shareholders cash dividends in the amount of $6,940,000 and $2,044,056 for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively, our board of directors does not intend to distribute dividends in the near future. The declaration, payment and amount of any future dividends will be made at the discretion of the board of directors, and will depend upon, among other things, the results of our operations, cash flows and financial condition, operating and capital requirements, and other factors as the board of directors considers relevant. There is no assurance that future dividends will be paid, and, if dividends are paid, there is no assurance with respect to the amount of any such dividend.
WE MAY INCUR SIGNIFICANT COSTS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH UNITED STATES CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTING REQUIREMENTS.
We may incur significant costs associated with our public company reporting requirements, costs associated with newly applicable corporate governance requirements, including requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and other rules implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission. We expect all of these applicable rules and regulations to significantly increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time consuming and costly. We also expect that these applicable rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. We are currently evaluating and monitoring developments with respect to these newly applicable rules, and we cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.
Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure
WE CONTROL BCT RETAIL THROUGH A SERIES OF CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENTS, WHICH MAY NOT BE AS EFFECTIVE IN PROVIDING CONTROL OVER THE ENTITY AS DIRECT OWNERSHIP AND MAY BE DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE.
We operate our retail pharmacy business in the PRC through BCT Retail which holds the licenses, approvals and assets necessary to operate our retail pharmacy business in the PRC. We have a 49% minority equity ownership interest in BCT Retail and rely on contractual arrangements with Property management that allow us to substantially control and operate BCT Retail. These contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing control over BCT Retail because BCT Retail or its shareholders could breach the arrangements.
Our contractual arrangements with BCT Retail are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in the PRC. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC law and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. If BCT Retail or its shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under these contractual arrangements, we may have to
The legal environment in the PRC is not as developed as in the United States and uncertainties in the Chinese legal system could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. In the event that we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
IF THE PRC GOVERNMENT DETERMINES THAT THE CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENTS THROUGH WHICH WE CONTROL BCT RETAIL DO NOT COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, OUR BUSINESS COULD BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED.
Although we believe our contractual relationships through which we control BCT Retail comply with current licensing, registration and regulatory requirements of the PRC, we cannot assure you that the PRC government would agree, or that new and burdensome regulations will not be adopted in the future. If the PRC government determines that our structure or operating arrangements do not comply with applicable law, it could revoke our business and operating licenses, require us to discontinue or restrict our operations, restrict our right to collect revenues, require us to restructure our operations, impose additional conditions or requirements with which we may not be able to comply, impose restrictions on our business operations or on our customers, or take other regulatory or enforcement actions against us that could be harmful to our business.
Risks Relating to the People’s Republic of China
THE SALES PRICES OF SOME MEDICINES ARE CURRENTLY CONTROLLED BY THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT AND THAT MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS.
Prices paid by end consumers for many of our medicines are regulated by PRC’s State Development and Reform Commission. PRC justifies its need to control the drug prices on the basis that, at present, only employees at state or private companies have health insurance. About 900 million rural Chinese people and 35 million urban unemployed Chinese people lack insurance coverage and cannot afford expensive drugs. Our future profitability might suffer if a significant portion of our revenues were to be derived from products whose final selling prices were state-controlled and if those prices were held at levels close to or below our cost of sales.
SALES OF OUR PRODUCTS COULD BE HARMED BY THE WIDESPREAD PRESENCE OF COUNTERFEIT MEDICATION IN PRC NEGATIVELY IMPACTING OUR PROFITABILITY.
Chinese counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals and other products affecting public health has grown in tandem with counterfeiting and piracy of goods such as brand-name clothing, compact discs and computer software. This situation negatively affects China Baicaotang and other major domestic and foreign drug manufacturers in PRC, especially for products marketed through the over the counter rather than hospital channel. With the expansion of our business and increased recognition of our brand name, such risks may increase. Currently, active pharmaceutical ingredients are governed only by chemical regulations. Our ability to increase sales as rapidly as we would like, and our profitability, could be affected if this problem persists or worsens.
SUBSTANTIALLY ALL OF OUR OPERATING ASSETS ARE LOCATED IN CHINA AND SUBSTANTIALLY ALL OF OUR REVENUE WILL BE DERIVED FROM OUR OPERATIONS IN CHINA SO OUR BUSINESS, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND PROSPECTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND LEGAL POLICIES, DEVELOPMENTS AND CONDITIONS IN CHINA.
The PRC’s economic, political and social conditions, as well as government policies, could impair our business. The PRC economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects. China’s GDP has grown consistently since 1978 (National Bureau of Statistics of China). However, we cannot assure you that such growth will be sustained in the future. If, in the future, China’s economy experiences a downturn or grows at a slower rate than expected, there may be less demand for spending in certain industries. A decrease in demand for spending in certain industries could impair our ability to remain profitable. The PRC’s economic growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures benefit the overall PRC economy, but may have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations may be hindered by PRC government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations.
The PRC economy has been transitioning from a planned economy to a more market-oriented economy. Although in recent years the PRC government has implemented measures emphasizing the use of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets and the establishment of sound corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the PRC government. In addition, the PRC government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. It also exercises significant control over PRC economic growth through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.
IF THE MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, OR MOFCOM, CHINA SECURITIES REGULATORY COMMISSION, OR CSRC, OR ANOTHER PRC REGULATORY AGENCY, DETERMINES THAT MOFCOM AND CSRC APPROVAL OF OUR MERGER WAS REQUIRED OR IF OTHER REGULATORY OBLIGATIONS ARE IMPOSED UPON US, WE MAY INCUR SANCTIONS, PENALTIES OR ADDITIONAL COSTS WHICH WOULD DAMAGE OUR BUSINESS.
On August 8, 2006, six PRC regulatory agencies, including the MOFCOM and the CSRC, promulgated the Rules on Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, a new regulation with respect to the mergers and acquisitions of domestic enterprises by foreign investors that became effective on September 8, 2006. Article 11 of the New M&A Rules requires when a domestic company, enterprise or natural person uses an offshore company legally established or controlled by the domestic company, enterprise or natural person to engage in the merger and acquisition of a related domestic company, the application must be submitted to MOFCOM for approval. Article 40 of the New M&A Rules requires that an offshore special purpose vehicle formed for overseas listing purposes and controlled directly or indirectly by PRC companies or individuals should obtain the approval of the CSRC prior to the listing and trading of such offshore special purpose vehicle’s securities on an overseas stock exchange, especially in the event that the offshore special purpose vehicle acquires shares of or equity interests in the PRC companies in exchange for the shares of offshore companies. Article 39 of the New M&A Rules defines an offshore special purpose vehicle as an offshore company directly or indirectly controlled by a PRC domestic company or natural person for the purpose of the offshore listing of their equity interests in the domestic company. On September 21, 2006, the CSRC published on its official website procedures and filing requirements for offshore special purpose vehicles seeking CSRC approval of their overseas listings.
We believe, based on the opinion of our PRC legal counsel, Broad & Bright Law Firm, that MOFCOM and CSRC approvals were not required for our merger transaction or for the listing and trading of our securities on a trading market because we are not an offshore special purpose vehicle that is directly or indirectly controlled by PRC companies or individuals. Although the merger and acquisition regulations provide specific requirements and procedures, there are still many ambiguities in the meaning of many provisions. Further regulations are anticipated in the future, but until there has been clarification either by pronouncements, regulation or practice, there is some uncertainty in the scope of the regulations and the regulators have wide latitude in the enforcement of the regulations and approval of transactions. If the MOFCOM, CSRC or another PRC regulatory agency subsequently determines that the MOFCOM and CSRC approvals were required, we may face sanctions by the MOFCOM, CSRC or another PRC regulatory agency. If this happens, these regulatory agencies may impose fines and penalties on our operations in China, limit our operating privileges in China, delay or restrict the repatriation of the net proceeds (after the payment of fees and expenses in connection with the Private Placement) received by us from the Private Placement into China, restrict or prohibit payment or remittance of dividends paid by Liuzhou BCT, or take other actions that could damage our business, financial condition, results of operations, reputation and prospects, as well as the trading price of our securities.
THE NEW M&A REGULATIONS ESTABLISH MORE COMPLEX PROCEDURES FOR SOME ACQUISITIONS OF CHINESE COMPANIES BY FOREIGN INVESTORS, WHICH COULD MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR US TO PURSUE GROWTH THROUGH ACQUISITION IN CHINA.
The New M&A Rules establish additional procedures and requirements that could make some acquisitions of PRC companies by foreign investors, such as ours, more time-consuming and complex, including requirements in some instances that the approval of the Ministry of Commerce shall be required for transactions involving the shares of an offshore listed company being used as the acquisition consideration by foreign investors. In the future, we may grow our business in part by acquiring complementary businesses. Complying with the requirements of the New M&A Rules to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approval from the Ministry of Commerce, may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions, which could affect our ability to expand our business or maintain our market share.
IF THE PRC IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS DESIGNED TO REDUCE INFLATION, FUTURE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE PRC COULD BE SEVERELY CURTAILED WHICH COULD HURT OUR BUSINESS AND PROFITABILITY.
While the economy of the PRC has experienced rapid growth, this growth has been uneven among various sectors of the economy and in different geographical areas of the country. Rapid economic growth often can lead to growth in the supply of money and rising inflation. In order to control inflation in the past, the PRC has imposed controls on bank credits, limits on loans for fixed assets and restrictions on state bank lending. Imposition of similar restrictions may lead to a slowing of economic growth, a decrease in demand for our products and generally damage our business and profitability.
FLUCTUATIONS IN EXCHANGE RATES COULD HARM OUR BUSINESS AND THE VALUE OF OUR SECURITIES.
The value of our ordinary shares will be indirectly affected by the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollars and RMB and between those currencies and other currencies in which our sales may be denominated. Because substantially all of our earnings and cash assets are denominated in RMB and the net proceeds (after the payment of fees and expenses in connection with the Private Placement) received by us from the Private Placement will be denominated and our financial results are reported in U.S. dollars, fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the RMB will affect the relative purchasing power of these proceeds, our balance sheet and our earnings per share in U.S. dollars following this offering. In addition, appreciation or depreciation in the value of the RMB relative to the U.S. dollar would affect our financial results reported in U.S. dollar terms without giving effect to any underlying change in our business or results of operations. Fluctuations in the exchange rate will also affect the relative value of any dividend we issue that will be exchanged into U.S. dollars as well as earnings from, and the value of, any U.S. dollar-denominated investments we make in the future. Since July 2005, the RMB has not been pegged to the U.S. dollar. Although the People’s Bank of China regularly intervenes in the foreign exchange market to prevent significant short-term fluctuations in the exchange rate, the RMB may appreciate or depreciate significantly in value against the U.S. dollar in the medium to long term. Moreover, it is possible that in the future PRC authorities may lift restrictions on fluctuations in the RMB exchange rate and lessen intervention in the foreign exchange market.
Very limited hedging transactions are available in China to reduce our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions. While we may enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these transactions may be limited, and we may not be able to successfully hedge our exposure at all. In addition, our foreign currency exchange losses may be magnified by PRC exchange control regulations that restrict our ability to convert RMB into foreign currencies.
EXCHANGE CONTROLS THAT EXIST IN THE PRC MAY LIMIT OUR ABILITY TO UTILIZE OUR CASH FLOW EFFECTIVELY.
We are subject to the PRC’s rules and regulations on currency conversion. In the PRC, the State Administration for Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, regulates the conversion between Renminbi and foreign currencies. Currently, foreign investment enterprises, or FIEs, are required to apply to the SAFE for “Foreign Exchange Registration Certificates for FIEs.” As a result of our ownership of Liuzhou BCT, Liuzhou BCT is a FIE. With such registration certificates, which need to be renewed annually, FIEs are allowed to open foreign currency accounts including a “current account” and “capital account.” Currency conversion within the scope of the “current account,” such as remittance of foreign currencies for payment of dividends, can be effected without requiring the approval of the SAFE. However, conversion of currency in the “capital account,” including capital items such as direct foreign investment, loans and securities, still require approval of the SAFE. Further, any capital contributions to Liuzhou BCT by its offshore shareholder must be approved by the Ministry of Commerce in China or its local counterpart. We cannot assure you that the PRC regulatory authorities will not impose further restrictions on the convertibility of the Renminbi. Any future restrictions on currency exchanges may limit our ability to use our cash flow for the distribution of dividends to our shareholders or to fund operations it may have outside of the PRC.
In August 2008, SAFE promulgated Circular 142, a notice regulating the conversion by FIEs of foreign currency into Renminbi by restricting how the converted Renminbi may be used. Circular 142 requires that Renminbi converted from the foreign currency-dominated capital of a FIE may only be used for purposes within the business scope approved by the applicable government authority and may not be used for equity investments within the PRC unless specifically provided for otherwise. In addition, SAFE strengthened its oversight over the flow and use of Renminbi funds converted from the foreign currency-dominated capital of a FIE. The use of such Renminbi may not be changed without approval from SAFE, and may not be used to repay Renminbi loans if the proceeds of such loans have not yet been used. Violations of Circular 142 may result in severe penalties, including substantial fines as set forth in the SAFE rules.
PRC REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF OFFSHORE SPECIAL PURPOSE COMPANIES BY PRC RESIDENTS MAY SUBJECT OUR PRC RESIDENT SHAREHOLDERS TO PERSONAL LIABILITY AND LIMIT OUR ABILITY TO INJECT CAPITAL INTO OUR PRC SUBSIDIARIES, LIMIT OUR PRC SUBSIDIARIES’ ABILITY TO DISTRIBUTE PROFITS TO US, OR OTHERWISE ADVERSELY AFFECT US.
SAFE issued a public notice in October 2005, or the SAFE notice, requiring PRC residents to register with the local SAFE branch before establishing or controlling any company outside of China for the purpose of capital financing with assets or equities of PRC companies, referred to in the notice as an “offshore special purpose company.” PRC residents that are shareholders of offshore special purpose companies established before November 1, 2005 were required to register with the local SAFE branch before March 31, 2006.The failure of our beneficial owners to timely amend their SAFE registrations pursuant to the SAFE notice or the failure of future beneficial owners of our company who are PRC residents to comply with the registration procedures set forth in the SAFE notice may subject such beneficial owners to fines and legal sanctions and may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends to our company or otherwise adversely affect our business.
BECAUSE CHINESE LAW GOVERNS MANY OF OUR MATERIAL AGREEMENTS, WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ENFORCE OUR RIGHTS WITHIN THE PRC OR ELSEWHERE, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF BUSINESS, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES OR CAPITAL.
Chinese law governs many of our material agreements, some of which may be with Chinese governmental agencies. We cannot assure you that we will be able to enforce any of our material agreements or that remedies will be available outside of the PRC. The system of laws and the enforcement of existing laws and contracts in the PRC may not be as certain in implementation and interpretation as in the United States. The Chinese judiciary is relatively inexperienced in enforcing corporate and commercial law, leading to a higher than usual degree of uncertainty as to the outcome of any litigation. The inability to enforce or obtain a remedy under any of our future agreements could result in a significant loss of business, business opportunities or capital.
BECAUSE OUR FUNDS ARE HELD IN BANKS IN UNINSURED PRC BANK ACCOUNTS, THE FAILURE OF ANY BANK IN WHICH WE DEPOSIT OUR FUNDS COULD AFFECT OUR ABILITY TO CONTINUE IN BUSINESS.
Funds on deposit at banks and other financial institutions in the PRC are often uninsured. A significant portion of our assets are in the form of cash deposited with banks in the PRC, and in the event of a bank failure, we may not have access to our funds on deposit. Depending upon the amount of money we maintain in a bank that fails, our inability to have access to our cash could impair our operations, and, if we are not able to access funds to pay our suppliers, employees and other creditors, we may be unable to continue in business.
OUR BUSINESS COULD BE SEVERELY HARMED IF THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT CHANGES ITS POLICIES, LAWS, REGULATIONS, TAX STRUCTURE OR ITS CURRENT INTERPRETATIONS OF ITS LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO OUR OPERATIONS IN CHINA.
Our business is located in Guangxi province, China and virtually all of our assets are located in China. We generate our sales revenue only from customers located in China. Our results of operations, financial state of affairs and future growth are, to a significant degree, subject to China’s economic, political and legal development and related uncertainties. Our operations and results could be materially affected by a number of factors, including, but not limited to
Over the past several years, the Chinese government has pursued economic reform policies including the encouragement of private economic activities and greater economic decentralization. If the Chinese government does not continue to pursue its present policies that encourage foreign investment and operations in China, or if these policies are either not successful or are significantly altered, then our business could be harmed. Following the Chinese government’s policy of privatizing many state-owned enterprises, the Chinese government has attempted to augment its revenues through increased tax collection. It also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. Continued efforts to increase tax revenues could result in increased taxation expenses being incurred by us. Economic development may be limited as well by the imposition of austerity measures intended to reduce inflation, the inadequate development of infrastructure and the potential unavailability of adequate power and water supplies, transportation and communications. In addition, the Chinese government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry by imposing industrial policies.
THE CHINESE LAWS AND REGULATIONS WHICH GOVERN OUR CURRENT BUSINESS OPERATIONS ARE SOMETIMES VAGUE AND UNCERTAIN AND MAY BE CHANGED IN A WAY THAT HURTS OUR BUSINESS.
China’s legal system is a civil law system based on written statutes, in which system decided legal cases have little value as precedents, unlike the common law system prevalent in the United States. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of Chinese laws and regulations, including but not limited to the laws and regulations governing our business, or the enforcement and performance of our arrangements with customers in the event of the imposition of statutory liens, death, bankruptcy and criminal proceedings. The Chinese government has been developing a comprehensive system of commercial laws, and considerable progress has been made in introducing laws and regulations dealing with economic matters such as foreign investment, corporate organization and governance, commerce, taxation and trade. However, because these laws and regulations are relatively new, and because of the limited volume of published cases and judicial interpretation and their lack of force as precedents, interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve significant uncertainties. New laws and regulations that affect existing and proposed future businesses may also be applied retroactively. We are considered an FIE under Chinese laws, and as a result, we must comply with Chinese laws and regulations. We cannot predict what effect the interpretation of existing or new Chinese laws or regulations may have on our business. If the relevant authorities find us to be in violation of Chinese laws or regulations, they would have broad discretion in dealing with such a violation, including, without limitation: levying fines; revoking our business and other licenses; requiring that we restructure our ownership or operations; and requiring that we discontinue any portion or all of our business.
A SLOWDOWN OR OTHER ADVERSE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CHINESE ECONOMY MAY MATERIALLY AND ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR CUSTOMERS’ DEMAND FOR OUR SERVICES AND OUR BUSINESS.
All of our operations are conducted in China and all of our revenues are generated from sales to businesses operating in China. Although the Chinese economy has grown significantly in recent years, such growth may not continue. We do not know how sensitive we are to a slowdown in economic growth or other adverse changes in the Chinese economy which may affect demand for our products. A slowdown in overall economic growth, an economic downturn or recession or other adverse economic developments in China may materially reduce the demand for our services and in turn reduce our results of operations.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE U.S. FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT AND CHINESE ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS COULD SUBJECT US TO PENALTIES AND OTHER ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES.
Our executive officers, employees and other agents may violate applicable law in connection with the marketing or sale of our products, including China’s anti-corruption laws and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, which generally prohibits United States companies from engaging in bribery or other prohibited payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. In addition, we are required to maintain records that accurately and fairly represent our transactions and have an adequate system of internal accounting controls. Foreign companies, including some that may compete with us, are not subject to these prohibitions, and therefore may have a competitive advantage over us. The PRC also strictly prohibits bribery of government officials. However, corruption, extortion, bribery, pay-offs, theft and other fraudulent practices occur from time-to-time in the PRC.
While we intend to implement measures to ensure compliance with the FCPA and Chinese anti-corruption laws by all individuals involved with our company, our employees or other agents may engage in such conduct for which we might be held responsible. If our employees or other agents are found to have engaged in such practices, we could suffer severe penalties and other consequences that may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, our brand and reputation, our sales activities or the price of our ordinary shares could be adversely affected if we become the target of any negative publicity as a result of actions taken by our employees or other agents.
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW PRC EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT LAW AND INCREASES IN THE LABOR COSTS IN CHINA MAY HURT OUR BUSINESS AND PROFITABILITY.
A new employment contract law became effective on January 1, 2008 in China. It imposes more stringent requirements on employers in relation to entry into fixed-term employment contracts, recruitment of temporary employees and dismissal of employees. In addition, under the newly promulgated Regulations on Paid Annual Leave for Employees, which also became effective on January 1, 2008, employees who have worked continuously for more than one year are entitled to paid vacation ranging from 5 to 15 days, depending on the length of the employee’s service. Employees who waive such vacation entitlements at the request of the employer will be compensated for three times their normal daily salaries for each vacation day so waived. As a result of the new law and regulations, our labor costs may increase. There is no assurance that disputes, work stoppages or strikes will not arise in the future. Increases in the labor costs or future disputes with our employees could damage our business, financial condition or operating results.
UNDER THE PRC EIT LAW, WE, INGENIOUS AND/OR FOREVER WELL MAY BE CLASSIFIED AS A “RESIDENT ENTERPRISE” OF THE PRC. SUCH CLASSIFICATION COULD RESULT IN TAX CONSEQUENCES TO US, OUR NON-PRC RESIDENT SHAREHOLDERS, INGENIOUS AND FOREVER WELL.
On March 16, 2007, the National People’s Congress approved and promulgated a new tax law, the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, or “EIT Law,” which took effect on January 1, 2008. Under the EIT Law, enterprises are classified as resident enterprises and non-resident enterprises. An enterprise established outside of China with “de facto management bodies” within China is considered a “resident enterprise,” meaning that it can be treated in a manner similar to a Chinese enterprise for enterprise income tax purposes. The implementing rules of the EIT Law define “de facto management bodies” as a managing body that in practice exercises “substantial and overall management and control over the production and operations, personnel, accounting, and properties” of the enterprise; however, it remains unclear whether the PRC tax authorities would deem our managing body as being located within China. Due to the short history of the EIT Law and lack of applicable legal precedents, the PRC tax authorities determine the PRC tax resident treatment of a foreign company on a case-by-case basis.
If the PRC tax authorities determine that we, Ingenious and/or Forever Well are a “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes, a number of PRC tax consequences could follow. First, we, Ingenious and/or Forever Well could be subject to the enterprise income tax at a rate of 25 percent on our, Ingenious’ and/or Forever Well’s worldwide taxable income, as well as PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations. Second, under the EIT Law and its implementing rules, dividends paid between “qualified resident enterprises” are exempt from enterprise income tax. As a result, if we, Ingenious and Forever Well are treated as PRC “qualified resident enterprises,” all dividends paid from Liuzhou BCT to us (through Forever Well and Ingenious) should be exempt from PRC tax.
Finally, the new “resident enterprise” classification could result in a situation in which a 10 percent PRC tax is imposed on dividends we pay to our non-PRC stockholders that are not PRC tax “resident enterprises” and gains derived by them from transferring our common stock, if such income is considered PRC-sourced income by the relevant PRC authorities. In such event, we may be required to withhold a 10 percent PRC tax on any dividends paid to non-PRC resident stockholders. Our non-PRC resident stockholders also may be responsible for paying PRC tax at a rate of 10 percent on any gain realized from the sale or transfer of our common stock in certain circumstances. We would not, however, have an obligation to withhold PRC tax with respect to such gain.
Moreover, the State Administration of Taxation (“SAT”) released Circular Guoshuihan No. 698 (“Circular 698”) on December 15, 2009 that reinforces the taxation of non-listed equity transfers by non-resident enterprises through overseas holding vehicles. Circular 698 addresses indirect share transfers as well as other issues. Circular 698 is retroactively effective from January 1 2008. According to Circular 698, where a foreign (non-PRC resident) investor who indirectly holds shares in a PRC resident enterprise through a non-PRC offshore holding company indirectly transfers equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise by selling the shares of the offshore holding company, and the latter is located in a country or jurisdiction where the effective tax burden is less than 12.5 percent or where the offshore income of his, her, or its residents is not taxable, the foreign investor is required to provide the PRC tax authority in charge of that PRC resident enterprise with certain relevant information within 30 days of the transfer. The tax authorities in charge will evaluate the offshore transaction for tax purposes. In the event that the tax authorities determine that such transfer is abusing forms of business organization and a reasonable commercial purpose for the offshore holding company other than the avoidance of PRC income tax liability is lacking, the PRC tax authorities will have the power to re-assess the nature of the equity transfer under the doctrine of substance over form. A reasonable commercial purpose may be established when the overall international (including U.S.) offshore structure is set up to comply with the requirements of supervising authorities of international (including U.S.) capital markets. If the SAT’s challenge of a transfer is successful, it may deny the existence of the offshore holding company that is used for tax planning purposes and subject the seller to PRC tax on the capital gain from such transfer. Since Circular 698 has a short history, there is uncertainty as to its application. We (or a foreign investor) may become at risk of being taxed under Circular 698 and may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with Circular 698 or to establish that we (or such foreign investor) should not be taxed under Circular 698, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations (or such foreign investor’s investment in us).
If any such PRC tax applies, a non-PRC resident investor may be entitled to a reduced rate of PRC tax under an applicable income tax treaty and/or a deduction against such investor’s domestic taxable income or a foreign tax credit against such investor’s domestic income tax liability (subject to applicable conditions and limitations). In the case of a U.S. Holder (as defined in the section of this prospectus captioned “Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—General”), if a PRC tax applies to dividends paid on our common stock, or to gain from the disposition of our common stock, such tax should be treated as a foreign tax eligible for a deduction from such holder’s U.S. federal taxable income or a foreign tax credit against such holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability (subject to applicable conditions and limitations). In addition, the U.S. Holder should be entitled to certain benefits under the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Tax Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income (the “U.S.-PRC Tax Treaty”), including the treatment of any such income as arising in the PRC for purposes of calculating such foreign tax credit, if such holder is considered a resident of the United States for the purposes of the U.S.-PRC Tax Treaty. Prospective investors should consult with their own tax advisors regarding the applicability of any such taxes, the effects of any applicable income tax treaties, and any available foreign tax credits. For further information, see the discussion in the sections of this prospectus entitled “Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations” and “Material PRC Income Tax Considerations” below.
IT MAY BE DIFFICULT TO AFFECT SERVICE OF PROCESS AND ENFORCEMENT OF LEGAL JUDGMENTS UPON OUR COMPANY AND OUR OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS BECAUSE THEY RESIDE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
As our operations are presently based in PRC and a majority of our directors and all of our officers reside in PRC, service of process on our company and such directors and officers may be difficult to effect within the United States. Also, our main assets are located in PRC and any judgment obtained in the United States against us may not be enforceable outside the United States.
Risks Associated with this Offering and our Common Stock in General
OUR SHARES OF COMMON STOCK HAVE LITTLE TRADING AND THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT THERE WILL BE AN ACTIVE MARKET FOR OUR SHARES OF COMMON STOCK EITHER NOW OR IN THE FUTURE.
Our shares of common stock have little trading, and the price if traded may not reflect our value. There can be no assurance that there will be an active market for our shares of common stock either now or in the future. The market liquidity will be dependent on the perception of our operating business and any steps that our management might take to bring us to the awareness of investors. There can be no assurance given that there will be any awareness generated. Consequently, investors may not be able to liquidate their investment or liquidate it at a price that reflects the value of the business. If a more active market should develop, the price may be highly volatile. Because there may be a low price for our shares of common stock, many brokerage firms may not be willing to effect transactions in the securities. Even if an investor finds a broker willing to effect a transaction in the shares of our common stock, the combination of brokerage commissions, transfer fees, taxes, if any, and any other selling costs may exceed the selling price. Further, many lending institutions will not permit the use of such shares of common stock as collateral for any loans.
WE MAY BE SUBJECT TO THE PENNY STOCK RULES WHICH WILL MAKE THE SHARES OF OUR COMMON STOCK MORE DIFFICULT TO SELL.
We may be subject now and in the future to the SEC’s “penny stock” rules if our shares of common stock sell below $5.00 per share. Penny stocks generally are equity securities with a price of less than $5.00. The penny stock rules require broker-dealers to deliver a standardized risk disclosure document prepared by the SEC which provides information about penny stocks and the nature and level of risks in the penny stock market. The broker-dealer must also provide the customer with current bid and offer quotations for the penny stock, the compensation of the broker-dealer and its salesperson, and monthly account statements showing the market value of each penny stock held in the customer’s account. The bid and offer quotations, and the broker-dealer and salesperson compensation information must be given to the customer orally or in writing prior to completing the transaction and must be given to the customer in writing before or with the customer’s confirmation.
In addition, the penny stock rules require that prior to a transaction, the broker dealer must make a special written determination that the penny stock is a suitable investment for the purchaser and receive the purchaser’s written agreement to the transaction. The penny stock rules are burdensome and may reduce purchases of any offerings and reduce the trading activity for shares of our common stock. As long as our shares of common stock are subject to the penny stock rules, the holders of such shares of common stock may find it more difficult to sell their securities.
OUR SHAREHOLDERS WILL EXPERIENCE DILUTION AS A RESULT OF THE CONVERSION OF OUR CLASS A WARRANTS OR ISSUANCE OF SECURITIES IN FUTURE FINANCINGS.
As of the date hereof, we have Investor Warrants and Agent Warrants outstanding which are exercisable for 2,111,235 shares of common stock. To the extent such Warrants are exercised, there will be further dilution. In the event that any future financing should be in the form of securities convertible into, or exchangeable for, equity securities, investors may experience additional dilution upon the conversion or exchange of such securities. In addition, the issuance and sale of the Preferred Shares, when converted, will result in the issuance of an additional 9,375,000 shares of common stock.
There are additional authorized but unissued shares of our common stock (and also, after amendment of our certificate of incorporation as described above, additional but unissued shares of our preferred stock) that may be later issued by our management for any purpose without the consent or vote of the stockholders. Our current shareholders may be further diluted in their percentage ownership in the event additional shares are issued by us in the future.
OUR COMMON STOCK IS SUBJECT TO PRICE VOLATILITY UNRELATED TO OUR OPERATIONS.
The market price of our common stock could fluctuate substantially due to a variety of factors, including market perception of our ability to achieve our planned growth, quarterly operating results of other companies in the same industry, trading volume in our common stock, changes in general conditions in the economy and the financial markets or other developments affecting our competitors or us. In addition, the stock market is subject to extreme price and volume fluctuations. This volatility has had a significant effect on the market price of securities issued by many companies for reasons unrelated to their operating performance and could have the same effect on our common stock.
WE CANNOT ASSURE YOU THAT OUR COMMON STOCK WILL BECOME LIQUID OR THAT IT WILL BE LSITED ON A SECURITIES EXCHANGE.
Currently, we are quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board, where an investor may find it difficult to obtain accurate quotations as to the market value of our common stock. In addition, if we fail to meet the criteria set forth in SEC regulations, by law, various requirements would be imposed on broker-dealers who sell its securities to persons other than established customers and accredited investors. Consequently, such regulations may deter broker-dealers from recommending or selling our common stock, which may further affect its liquidity.
OUR CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OWNS A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF OUR OUTSTANDING COMMON STOCK, WHICH WILL ENABLE HER TO INFLUENCE MANY SIGNIFICANT CORPORATE ACTIONS AND IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES MAY PREVENT A CHANGE IN CONTROL THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE BENEFICIAL TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS.
As of the date hereof, our Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Zhang, controls approximately 58.9% of our outstanding shares of common stock that are entitled to vote on all corporate actions. After the sale of the Preferred Shares, Ms. Zhang will control approximately 44.3% of the total voting rights of our capital stock on a fully-diluted basis and the holders of the Preferred Shares will have approximately 18.5% of the voting rights of our capital stock on a fully-diluted basis, so that together these parties will control a majority of the voting rights. This could have a substantial impact on matters requiring the vote of the shareholders, including the election of our directors and most of our corporate actions. This control could delay, defer or prevent others from initiating a potential merger, takeover or other change in our control, even if these actions would benefit our shareholders and us. This control could adversely affect the voting and other rights of our other shareholders and could depress the market price of our common stock.
IF WE FAIL TO MAINTAIN AN EFFECTIVE SYSTEM OF INTERNAL CONTROLS, WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ACCURATELY REPORT OUR FINANCIAL RESULTS OR PREVENT FRAUD.
Since we operated as a private enterprise without public reporting obligations prior to the Share Exchange, we have committed limited personnel and resources to the development of the external reporting and compliance obligations that would be required of a public company. If our financial reporting systems or procedures fail, we may not be able to provide accurate financial statements on a timely basis or comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as it applies to us. Any failure of our ability to provide accurate financial statements could cause the trading price of our common stock to decrease substantially.
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are contained principally in the sections entitled “Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business.” These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the factors described in the section captioned “Risk Factors” above.
In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “should,” “would” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements relating to:
Also, forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and the documents that we reference in this prospectus, or that we filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.
Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
Use of Proceeds
We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of our common stock by the selling stockholders. The selling stockholders will receive all of the net proceeds from the sales of common stock offered by them under this prospectus. To the extent that the selling stockholders exercise in cash all of the Warrants covering the 2,111,235 shares of common stock registered for resale under this prospectus, we would receive $7,776,336 in the aggregate from such exercises. However, there is no assurance that such Warrants will be exercised. In addition, we will not receive any additional proceeds to the extent the Warrants are exercised on a cashless exercise basis. We intend to use such proceeds for working capital and other general corporate purposes. We will have complete discretion over how we may use the proceeds, if any, from any cash exercise of the Warrants.
We are registering for resale shares of our common stock that are issued and outstanding held by the selling stockholders identified below. We are registering the shares to permit the selling stockholders and their pledgees, donees, transferees and other successors-in-interest that receive their shares from a selling stockholder as a gift, partnership distribution or other non-sale related transfer after the date of this prospectus to resell the shares when and as they deem appropriate in the manner described in the “Plan of Distribution”. As of the date of this prospectus there are 38,154,340 shares of common stock issued and outstanding.
The following table sets forth:
May Davis Partners, LLC (“May Davis”), American Capital Partners, LLC (“American Capital”) and Charles Vista, LLC are broker dealers and received the securities registered herein for their services to us acting as placement agent in our Private Placement.
Except for May Davis, American Capital and Charles Vista, LLC, none of the selling stockholders is a broker dealer or an affiliate of a broker dealer. None of the selling stockholders had any agreement or understanding, directly or indirectly, to distribute any of the shares being registered at the time of purchase.
None of the selling stockholders has been an officer or director of the Company or any of its predecessors or affiliates within the last three years and, except for May Davis, American Capital and Charles Vista, LLC acting in their capacities as our placement agent, no selling stockholder has had a material relationship with the Company.
We entered into a placement agency agreement (the “Placement Agent Agreement”) with May Davis and American Capital “the Co-Placement Agents” on October 21, 2009 whereby May Davis and American Capital received as compensation for acting as placement agent in the Private Placement (i) a total cash fee and a non-accountable marketing allowance in the amount of approximately $0.86 million; and (ii) Agent Warrants to purchase up to 302,521 shares of common stock. Pursuant to participating agent agreements by and among Charles Vista, LLC, May Davis and American Capital, Charles Vista, LLC received as compensation for acting as a sub-agent in the Private Placement (i) a cash fee in the amount of approximately $0.22 million; and (ii) Agent Warrants to purchase up to 49,413 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $3.65 per share. The Co-Placement Agents were responsible for raising the minimum offering amount of $5,820,000 of Units and were compensated as set forth above. The funds in connection with the Private Placement were held with Signature Bank, acting as escrow agent, and were released to us upon the consummation of each closing under the Subscription Agreement.
Each selling stockholder may offer for sale all or part of the shares from time to time. The table below assumes that the selling stockholders will sell all of the shares offered for sale. A selling stockholder is under no obligation, however, to sell any shares pursuant to this prospectus.
* The shares are owned by respective holders as joint tenants with right of survivorship.
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
This prospectus relates to the resale of up to 5,630,575 shares (i) issued or (ii) to be issued upon the exercise of certain outstanding Warrants, each held by certain selling stockholders.
May Davis and American Capital are registered broker dealers and FINRA member firms and each is listed as a selling stockholder in this prospectus.
Neither May Davis nor American Capital has an underwriting agreement with us and/or the selling stockholders and no selling stockholder is required to execute transactions through May Davis and American Capital. Further, other than any existing brokerage relationship as customers with May Davis and American Capital, no selling stockholder has any pre-arranged agreement, written or otherwise, with May Davis or ACP to sell their securities through May Davis or American Capital.
The selling stockholders may sell all or a portion of the shares of common stock beneficially owned by them and offered hereby from time to time directly or through one or more underwriters, broker-dealers or agents. If the shares of common stock are sold through underwriters or broker-dealers, the selling stockholders will be responsible for underwriting discounts or commissions or agent’s commissions. The shares of common stock may be sold in one or more transactions at fixed prices, at prevailing market prices at the time of the sale, at varying prices determined at the time of sale, or at negotiated prices. These sales may be effected in transactions, which may involve crosses or block transactions,
If the selling stockholders effect such transactions by selling shares of common stock to or through underwriters, broker-dealers or agents, such underwriters, broker-dealers or agents may receive commissions in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the selling stockholders or commissions from purchasers of the shares of common stock for whom they may act as agent or to whom they may sell as principal (which discounts, concessions or commissions as to particular underwriters, broker-dealers or agents may be in excess of those customary in the types of transactions involved). In connection with sales of the shares of common stock or otherwise, the selling stockholders may enter into hedging transactions with broker-dealers, which may in turn engage in short sales of the shares of common stock in the course of hedging in positions they assume. The selling stockholders may also sell shares of common stock short and deliver shares of common stock covered by this prospectus to close out short positions and to return borrowed shares in connection with such short sales. The selling stockholders may also loan or pledge shares of common stock to broker-dealers that in turn may sell such shares.
The selling stockholders may pledge or grant a security interest in some or all of the shares of common stock owned by them and, if they default in the performance of their secured obligations, the pledgees or secured parties may offer and sell the shares of common stock from time to time pursuant to this prospectus or any amendment to this prospectus under Rule 424(b)(3) or other applicable provision of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, amending, if necessary, the list of selling stockholders to include the pledgee, transferee or other successors in interest as selling stockholders under this prospectus. The selling stockholders also may transfer and donate the shares of common stock in other circumstances in which case the transferees, donees, pledgees or other successors in interest will be the selling beneficial owners for purposes of this prospectus.
The selling stockholders and any broker-dealer participating in the distribution of the shares of common stock may be deemed to be “underwriters” within the meaning of the Securities Act, and any commission paid, or any discounts or concessions allowed to, any such broker-dealer may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts under the Securities Act. At the time a particular offering of the shares of common stock is made, a prospectus supplement, if required, will be distributed which will set forth the aggregate amount of shares of common stock being offered and the terms of the offering, including the name or names of any broker-dealers or agents, any discounts, commissions and other terms constituting compensation from the selling stockholders and any discounts, commissions or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to broker-dealers.
Under the securities laws of some states, the shares of common stock may be sold in such states only through registered or licensed brokers or dealers. In addition, in some states the shares of common stock may not be sold unless such shares have been registered or qualified for sale in such state or an exemption from registration or qualification is available and is complied with.
There can be no assurance that any selling stockholder will sell any or all of the shares of common stock registered pursuant to the registration statement, of which this prospectus forms a part.
The selling stockholders and any other person participating in such distribution will be subject to applicable provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations thereunder, including, without limitation, Regulation M of the Exchange Act, which may limit the timing of purchases and sales of any of the shares of common stock by the selling stockholders and any other participating person. Regulation M may also restrict the ability of any person engaged in the distribution of the shares of common stock to engage in market-making activities with respect to the shares of common stock. All of the foregoing may affect the marketability of the shares of common stock and the ability of any person or entity to engage in market-making activities with respect to the shares of common stock.
We will pay all expenses of the registration of the shares of common stock pursuant to the registration rights agreement, estimated to be approximately $135,192 in total, including, without limitation, Securities and Exchange Commission filing fees and expenses of compliance with state securities or “blue sky” laws; provided, however, that a selling stockholder will pay all underwriting discounts and selling commissions, if any. We will indemnify the selling stockholders against liabilities, including some liabilities under the Securities Act, in accordance with the registration rights agreements, or the selling stockholders will be entitled to contribution. We may be indemnified by the selling stockholders against civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, that may arise from any written information furnished to us by the selling stockholder specifically for use in this prospectus, in accordance with the related registration rights agreement, or we may be entitled to contribution.
Once sold under the registration statement, of which this prospectus forms a part, the shares of common stock will be freely tradable in the hands of persons other than our affiliates.
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES
Our authorized capital stock consists of 100,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.001. In connection with the sale of the Preferred Shares, we have approved an amendment to our certificate of incorporation that will increase the number of authorized shares of common stock to 150 million. The holders of shares of our common stock currently (i) have equal ratable rights to dividends from funds legally available therefore, when, as and if declared by the board of directors of the company; (ii) are entitled to share ratably in all of the assets of the company available for distribution to holders of common stock upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the affairs of the company; (iii) do not have preemptive, subscription or conversion rights and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions or rights applicable thereto; and (iv) are entitled to one non-cumulative vote per share on all matters on which stockholders may vote. Please refer to the Articles of Incorporation.
Please refer to our By-Laws which have been filed with the SEC on August 22, 2007 as an exhibit to our Registration Statement on Form SB-2, and the applicable statutes of the State of Delaware for a more complete description of the rights and liabilities of holders of the company’s securities.
The holders of shares of our common stock do not have cumulative voting rights, which means that the holders of more than 50% of such outstanding shares, voting for the election of directors, can elect all of the directors to be elected, if they so choose, and, in such event, the holders of the remaining shares will not be able to elect any of the company’s directors.
Currently, we do not have any shares of preferred stock authorized. However, in connection with the sale of the Preferred Shares, we have approved an amendment to our certificate of incorporation which authorizes 20 million shares of blank-check preferred stock to be issued upon authorization by our board on such terms and in such amounts as the board may from time to time authorize; this amendment will be filed and become effective upon the completion of the process of notification to stockholders provided under Section 14(c) of the Exchange Act and the regulations thereunder.
As of the date hereof, we have 165 shareholders holding 38,154,340 shares of our issued and outstanding common stock.
Currently we have outstanding Investor Warrants which are exercisable for 1,759,301 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $3.81 per share and outstanding Agent Warrants which are exercisable for 351,934 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $3.05 per share. The Investor Warrants, at the option of the holder, may be exercised by cash payment of the exercise price or, commencing six months following the original issuance date, if a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, covering the shares of common stock underlying the Investor Warrants is not then declared effective by the SEC, in lieu of exercising the Investor Warrants by payment of cash, a holder may exercise the Investor Warrant by a cashless exercise by surrender of the Investor Warrant, in which event we will issue to the holder a number of shares of our common stock computed using the following formula:
We will not receive any additional proceeds to the extent that Investor Warrants are exercised by cashless exercise.
The exercise price and number of shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of the Investor Warrants may be adjusted in certain circumstances, including in the event of a stock dividend, or our recapitalization, reorganization, merger or consolidation and the issuance of rights to purchase additional shares of our common stock or to receive other securities convertible into additional shares of common stock.
In the event we issue any additional stock at a price per share less than $2.54 or without consideration, then the exercise price then in effect upon each such trigger issuance shall be changed to a price equal to 150% of the consideration per share received by us in respect of the shares issued in such trigger issuance. Such adjustment shall be made successively whenever such an issuance is made.
Pursuant to the terms of the Investor Warrants, the number of shares of common stock that may be acquired by the warrant holder upon any exercise of the Investor Warrant (or otherwise in respect hereof) will be limited to the extent necessary to insure that, following such exercise (or other issuance), the total number of shares of common stock then beneficially owned by such holder and its affiliates and any other persons whose beneficial ownership of common stock would be aggregated with the Holder’s for purposes of Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended does not exceed 4.9% of the total number of issued and outstanding shares of our common stock.
Placement Agent Warrants
Similarly, the Agent Warrants at the option of the holder, may be exercised by cash payment of the exercise price or, commencing six months following the original issuance date, if a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, covering the shares of common stock underlying the Agent Warrants is not then declared effective by the SEC, in lieu of exercising the Agent Warrants by payment of cash, a holder may exercise the Agent Warrants by a cashless exercise by surrender of the Agent Warrants, in which event we will issue to the holder a number of shares of our common stock computed using the following formula:
We will not receive any additional proceeds to the extent that Agent Warrants are exercised by cashless exercise.
The exercise price and number of shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of the Agent Warrants may be adjusted in certain circumstances, including in the event of a stock dividend, or our recapitalization, reorganization, merger or consolidation and the issuance of rights to purchase additional shares of our common stock or to receive other securities convertible into additional shares of common stock.
Pursuant to the terms of the Agent Warrants, the number of shares of common stock that may be acquired by the warrant holder upon any exercise of the Agent Warrant (or otherwise in respect hereof) will be limited to the extent necessary to insure that, following such exercise (or other issuance), the total number of shares of common stock then beneficially owned by such holder and its affiliates and any other persons whose beneficial ownership of common stock would be aggregated with the Holder’s for purposes of Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended does not exceed 4.9% of the total number of issued and outstanding shares of our common stock.
As of the date hereof, we have 1,110,000 options exercisable for shares of our common stock issued and outstanding.
During the fiscal years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008, Liuzhou BCT declared and paid to its original shareholders cash dividends in the aggregate amount of nil and $6,940,000, respectively.
The declaration or payment of any future cash dividend will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon the earnings (if any), capital requirements and financial position of the company, general economic conditions, and other pertinent factors. It is our present intention not to declare or pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future, but rather to reinvest earnings (if any), in our business operations.
Interests of Named Experts and Counsel
No expert or counsel named in this prospectus as having prepared or certified any part of this prospectus or having given an opinion upon the validity of the securities being registered or upon other legal matters in connection with the registration or offering of the common stock was employed on a contingency basis, or had, or is to receive, in connection with the offering, a substantial interest, direct or indirect, in the registrant or any of its parents or subsidiaries. Nor was any such person connected with the registrant or any of its parents or subsidiaries as a promoter, managing or principal underwriter, voting trustee, director, officer, or employee.
The financial statements included in this prospectus and the registration statement have been audited by PKF, Certified Public Accountants, Hong Kong, China, a member firm of PKF International Limited network of legally independent firms, to the extent and for the periods set forth in their report appearing elsewhere herein and in the registration statement, and are included in reliance upon such report given upon the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.
We are engaged in pharmaceutical distribution, retail pharmacy and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals through our two wholly-owned subsidiaries Liuzhou BCT and Hefeng Pharmaceutical, and BCT Retail, a retail company that we control through a series of contractual arrangements, each of which is located in Guangxi province, China. Since January 2, 2008, we have three operating segments based on our major lines of businesses: pharmaceutical distribution, retail pharmacy and manufacturing pharmacy. For additional information regarding our segments please refer to our financial statements.
Pharmaceutical distribution is our principal business. We conduct our wholesale business through Liuzhou BCT by purchasing pharmaceutical products from suppliers and then distributing them to our wholesale customers, including hospitals, retail drug stores, other pharmaceutical wholesalers, clinics, medical centers, and individuals. Our pharmaceutical distribution business is focused on the market of Guangxi province, which includes major cities such as Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin and which has a population of approximately 50 million people. We operate a large regional wholesale network in Guangxi Province supported by strategically placed warehouse facilities. For the year ended December 31, 2009, revenue generated from our pharmaceutical distribution segment was $97.1 million, or 71.4% of our total revenues for the year.
We distribute over 8,000 products from nearly 4,000 suppliers through our wholesale distribution in compliance with PRC regulations. Hefeng Pharmaceutical which is one of our wholly-owned subsidiaries is also one of our suppliers. In 2009 revenue derived from the distribution of third-party products constituted 99% of our pharmaceutical distribution segment revenue. The terms of our distribution agreements vary between supplier and vary in terms of payment period, arrangement of delivery, pricing and quality requirements. The general payment terms vary from advance deposit, to cash on delivery, to payment up to 90 days from delivery, and the payment can be settled by means of bank collection, remittance, bills payable, postal check. The delivery is either to our warehouse, railway station, or prescribed destination within Liuzhou City. The quality of drugs supplied is in accordance with the prescribed national standard requirement. Our top 10 suppliers in our pharmaceutical distribution segment accounted for 27% of our purchases in 2009.
Liuzhou BCT’s GSP Certificate, which is a certification that drugstores in China are required to obtain was issued on September 18, 2009 and will expire on September 17, 2013, subject to renewal for an additional five-year term.
Established in 2001, BCT Retail operates a large regional retail network in Guangxi province, consisting of 170 directly owned retail stores in Guangxi province under the registered name “Baicaotang 百草堂.” BCT Retail’s GSP Certificate was issued on February 18, 2009 and will expire on February 17, 2014, subject to renewal for an additional five-year term. Our retail stores provide convenient, high quality and professional pharmaceutical services, and supply a wide variety of medicines, including western medicine, TCM, dried Chinese herbal medicine, roughly processed Chinese herbal medicine, family planning products, and seasonal medicine. For the year ended December 31, 2009, revenue generated from our retail pharmacy segment was $31.2 million, or 22.9% of our revenues for the year.
Among the 170 stores, there are 21 stores that are medi-care qualified stores, where customers are able to make their purchase either by cash or by using their medi-care insurance card for payment. With respect to medi-care insurance card payments, we issue an invoice to the national medi-care for reimbursement for those drugs included under the medi-care insurance catalogue. Only medi-care card payments from these 26 stores are entitled to reimbursement. The medi-care insurance catalogue used are provincial-based and developed and based on the national insurance catalogue. The medi-care insurance program is also known as National Medical Insurance Program.
The National Medical Insurance Program is funded primarily by provincial governments and, to a lesser degree, by program participants and their employers. The program has two types of accounts: individual accounts and social pool accounts. Each participant has an individual account that holds all contributions from the participant and part was contributed from his or her employer. National medicine catalog of the National Medical Insurance Program provides guidance to what extent the purchases of these medicines are reimbursable. The implementation of the National Medical Insurance Program is delegated to provincial governments, each of which has established its own medicine catalog. The medicine catalog comprises two lists of drugs which are named as Tier A and Tier B. People can consume and reimburse the drugs on these two lists by means of the insurance card at the medi-care qualified retail stores. When the customers purchase the drugs at the medi-care qualified stores listed under Tier B, they need to pay 20% co-payment by themselves and 80% is deducted from their individual account under the insurance card, whereas 100% is deducted from their individual account for the drugs listed under Tier A. From July 2009, onward, such policy was cancelled and the cost of drugs listed under Tier B can be deducted from the card in full should the balance of the individual account on the card exceed the cost of drugs purchased. If there is not a sufficient balance on the insurance card to cover the cost of the drug, the customer must personally pay the difference at the time of purchase. Our retail stores participate in both of these two tiers of drugs. Thus, subject to an individual having an adequate balance on their card for Tier B drugs, there is no difference between the treatment of Tier A and Tier B drugs from July 2009 onwards.
In order to get reimbursement from the National insurance program, we have to extract the total amount of sales derived from the amount spent by insurance card under our billing system. Our system is linked with the one at the National program. Each month, we only need to reconcile our record with the system and issue the invoice to the National program for reimbursement approval. Then the money is remitted to our designated account with no difference between these two tiers, subject to an individual having an adequate balance on their card for Tier B drugs.
The retail price under the medi-care qualified stores is subject to price controls administered by the Price Control Office under the National Development and Reform Commission. Our retail price for Tier A and Tier B drugs under qualified stores is fixed at an agreed ceiling of an agreed percentage over the prescribed one issued by the Guangxi Price Control Office. The prescribed drug prices issued by the Guangxi Price Control Office are in accordance with the price upon the provincial collective tender result which is held annually.
As for the New Rural Cooperative Medicare Plan, the participants in the scheme are people living in rural areas. The program also has individual accounts in which more subsidies are contributed by the provincial government and no employers are involved. It resembles the schemes under the National Medical Insurance Program in which people consume and reimburse the drugs by their individual account. The transaction is not recorded by a card; we instead login their account under the system of the New Rural Cooperative plan to check their balance to ensure that the limit of the account has not been reached.. Unlike National Medical Insurance Program, the eligible person is entitled to consume the drugs under the list of Basic Drugs Catalogue rather than the Tier A and Tier B catalogue,
The retail prices under the New Rural Cooperative Medicare Plan are subject to price controls administered by the Price Control Office under the National Development and Reform Commission. The retail prices under the list of Basic Drugs Catalogue are fixed at an agreed ceiling of percentage over the prescribed one issued by the Guangxi Price Control Office. The prescribed drugs price issued by the Guangxi Price Control Office are in accordance with the price upon the provincial collective tender result which is held annually. In order to get reimbursement from the New Rural Cooperative Medicare Plan, our stores have to extract the sales figures from the billing system and issue the reimbursement notes with the original vouchers and invoices to the relevant Committee for approval. Then the Committee remits the money to the designated account opened by the stores.
Hefeng Pharmaceutical has a manufacturing facility located on approximately 40,000 square meters of land, and manufactures four types of products:
The above capacity figures have been derived by our production department. The maximum days of operation is determined after taking into account the days of repairs, sterilization and rinsing process particular to each of the above production lines.
Hefeng Pharmaceutical produces and sells pharmaceutical products under the registered name “Asio (亚太)” including: traditional anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs, cancer treatment drugs, cardio-vascular disease drugs and hepatitis drugs.
Hefeng Pharmaceutical’s best-selling products include:
In addition, Hefeng Pharmaceutical collaborates with several renowned medical research universities in China to continuously improve its raw material abstraction efficiency and production process, and to develop alternative formulas for existing drugs. For the year ended December 31, 2009, revenue generated from our manufacturing segment was $7.7 million , or 5.7% of our total revenues for the year.
Hefeng Pharmaceutical’s GMP Certificate was issued on July 14, 2009 and will expire on July 13, 2014, and its GMP Certificate for Small Volume Parental Solution was issued on July 10, 2006 and will expire on July 9, 2011; both certificates are subject to renewal of additional five-year term. The renewal process requires us to apply through the State Food and Drug Administration and furnish an application form together with relevant supporting documents, such as our product license, business registration certificate, a summary of our management over drugs manufacturing, a self quality control report, an organization chart, education graphic data, a floor plan, assembly line, production flow and control points, inspection detail over key processes and a list of products produced. The Food and Drugs Administration will consider and issue the notice of acceptance upon the formality check and then carry out inspection on our technical know-how. Thereafter, GMP inspection unit will undertake an on-site inspection and issue an on-site inspection report in compliance with the GMP inspection standards. The State Food and Drug Administration then reviews the on-site inspection report and announces the result of inspection to us. The State Food and Drug Administration will issue the GMP certificate renewal if the reports are satisfactory.
The following table sets forth a breakdown of our external segment revenue after elimination of inter-segment sales, and each segment revenue item as a percentage of our total revenue, as well as our inter-segment sales for the year ended December 31, 2009 and December 31, 2008. For the year ended December 31, 2009, we had approximately $22.5 million of inter-segment revenue, which includes approximately $21.7 million in sales from our pharmaceutical distribution segment to our retail pharmacy segment, and approximately $762,000 in sales from our manufacturing segment to our retail pharmacy segment External segment revenue refers to segment revenue after inter-segment elimination.
Products Offered by Hefeng Pharmaceutical
Manufacturing both Chinese medicine and Western medicine, Hefeng Pharmaceutical maintains valid production licenses for 76 drugs. Below is the description of the five (5) best-selling drugs.
We are the sole licensed producer for this drug in China, and the market demand for this drug has been extremely strong due to the effectiveness of the drug to treat hepatic diseases.
Products and services offered by Retail Chain
Our Retail Chain provides our customers with high-quality, professional and convenient pharmaceutical services and supplies of a wide variety of medicines, including Western medicine, TCM, raw materials of dried herbal products, roughly processed herbal medicine, family planning products, as well as convenient seasonal and promotional items. A typical retail drug store of Retail Chain carries approximately 2,800 to 3,200 different products. Management regularly reviews and refines the product selection in order to respond to change in demographics, lifestyles, shopping habits and product preferences of our customers.
Our product selection is designed to offer choices and convenience to our customers and to achieve high gross margins for us. We offer our customers a broad range of choices in two respects. First, we offer a wide range of complementary products in each therapeutic category so that customers have more choices to suit their needs. For example, a customer looking for a cough remedy will be able to find a wide variety of choices including different OTC drugs, nutritional supplements and herbal products. Second, for products with the same therapeutic purpose, we offer choices in each of the high, medium and low price ranges to suit the needs of customers with different spending power.
Products offered by our wholesaler
Our wholesale business provides Retail Chain with the majority of the pharmaceutical products sold in retail drugstores. Approximately 95% of the packaged Western medicine and TCM, 100% of the Chinese Herbal Medicine and 100% of the family planning products are supplied by our wholesale business.
Besides providing procurement to our retail business, the majority of the sales revenue of our wholesale business arises from supplying pharmaceutical products to hospitals, clinics and healthcare centers at provincial, city, county and district levels. In addition, our wholesale business also exchanges our products with other wholesale networks to obtain products that we do not produce. Further, our wholesale business also distributes our products to other retail networks.
The National Medical Insurance Program (“National Program”), which was introduced in 1999, is the largest medical insurance program in China. The National Program is funded with varying levels of contributions from the PRC Government, individual program participants and their employers. The National Program provides guidance on which prescription and over-the-counter medicines are included in the program and to what extent the purchases of these medicines are reimbursable.
We believe that only a small percentage of the Chinese population can afford commercial insurance plans. Therefore, the National Program coverage is expected to expand in the future. Provincial and municipal authorities who are responsible for administering social medical insurance funds to cover such reimbursements have been gradually increasing funding in recent years. According to the PRC Ministry of Labor and Social Security, total funding under the national insurance program reached RMB225.7 billion, or $28.9 billion, in 2008, representing an increase of 29.2% from 2007. The availability of funding is expected to increase significantly in the near future, primarily as a result of increased financial and policy support from various levels of the PRC Government.
As a major portion of sales from our pharmaceutical distribution segment are derived from hospitals, the increase in coverage of social medical insurance and the roll-out of the New Rural Cooperative Medicare Plan has increased the demand for drugs, including those we distribute, by hospitals as more patients visit hospitals for treatment, knowing that the costs related to the treatment will be reimbursed under the social medical insurance scheme. In addition, we also believe that our retail business segment will benefit if the social medical insurance scheme covers a larger population base.
At the fifth meeting of the tenth National People’s Congress held in March 2007, the PRC Government announced its goal to accelerate the reform and development of healthcare services in the PRC and focus on building a basic healthcare system that covers both rural and urban areas. The PRC Government’s plans include providing expanded healthcare services for its rural citizens and establishing comprehensive community healthcare service centers that would provide basic medical treatment and pharmaceutical services, as well as upgrading existing class-two hospitals and state owned medical facilities. The public health service centers would be allocated based on demand and population. In addition, the PRC Government has actively promoted the implementation of the New Rural Cooperative Medical Insurance Scheme (“New Rural Insurance Scheme”), which seeks to provide healthcare services to the vast rural areas of China. The program extends to cover approximately 2,729 counties in the PRC, which account for 95.4% of the total number of counties in the PRC. In addition, the program covers approximately 814 million rural residents, which accounts for approximately 91.5% of the total population engaged in the agricultural industry in China as of December 31, 2008.
Because we operate in Guangxi Province, which has a large number of small cities and rural areas, we believe that the New Rural Insurance Scheme will have a positive impact on the demand for our products in all of our segments.
In September 2008, the State Council published a draft plan to ease the difficulties and minimize the costs for PRC citizens to obtain proper healthcare treatment. On 17 March 2009, the PRC Government issued the Opinion on Deepening the Healthcare System Reform (the “Opinion”). The State Council subsequently released the Notice on Important Implementing Plans for the Healthcare System Reform 2009-2011 (the “Implementing Plan”). The goal of the healthcare reform plan is to establish a basic, universal healthcare framework to provide Chinese citizens with safe, efficient, convenient and affordable healthcare. The Opinion calls for healthcare reform to be carried out in two steps:
While the PRC Government has neither provided a concrete timetable nor steps to implement certain tasks, such as the public hospital reform, it has released execution guidance for other tasks. Most notably, the PRC Government has announced it will spend an additional approximately RMB 850 billion, or $125 billion from 2009 to 2011 on the healthcare industry. A significant portion will be expended to establish a basic healthcare medical insurance regime, which aims to cover over 90% of the national population by 2011, mainly through the Urban Worker Program, Urban Resident Program and the New Rural Insurance Scheme. The PRC Government further announced that the annual subsidy for each participant will be increased from approximately RMB 40, or $5.90 to approximately RMB120, or $17.60 for Urban Resident Program participants, and from approximately RMB 80, or $11.76 to approximately RMB120 RMB, or $17.60 for New Rural Insurance Scheme participants, starting from 2010. The reform plan will also raise the cap on claim payments from four times the local average annual income to six times such income. Another significant part of the spending plan focuses on healthcare facilities. The PRC Government plans to build 29,000 rural clinics in 2009. In the next three years, the PRC government plans to build an additional 5,000 rural clinics, 2,000 county-level hospitals and 2,400 urban community clinics in under-developed areas. This substantial increase in healthcare spending is expected to expedite the growth of the healthcare industry in China.
Under the healthcare reform plan, the additional funding for the healthcare industry will primarily target four fundamental healthcare systems in China:
Although the healthcare reform plan is expected to benefit our pharmaceutical distribution, retail pharmacy and other business operations and improve our competitive position, the full effect of the healthcare reform plan on our operations is as yet unclear.
We operate in the large and growing pharmaceutical wholesale and retail industry in China, which we believe offers compelling industry fundamentals and benefits from favorable demographics. With approximately one-fifth of the world’s population and one of the world’s fastest growing economies, China presents significant potential for the retail drugstore industry.
In China, retail pharmaceutical and other healthcare related products may be purchased at either hospital pharmacies or non-hospital drugstores, including independent drugstores and drugstore chains. Historically, sales by hospital pharmacies accounted for a larger percentage of retail sales of pharmaceutical products in China. This is because out-patients typically purchase their prescription drugs at hospital pharmacies in accordance with doctors’ prescriptions. However, if a medical condition can be treated with OTC drugs, many Chinese people typically choose to purchase OTC drugs from non-hospital drugstores instead of consulting a doctor in a hospital for prescription medicines.
Fragmentation of the Pharmaceutical Chain Store Industry and the Trend for Consolidation
The drugstore industry in China is highly fragmented. Retail pharmacies in China include chain drugstores, individual stores, and OTC counters in retail chain stores and supermarkets. While pharmacy chain stores and retail chain stores with OTC counters are expanding quickly, neither format has developed a nationwide presence in China. The NDRC reported that as of December 31, 2004, 7,445 pharmaceutical product wholesalers, 1,410 pharmacy chain stores and 58,065 individual pharmaceutical product retailers have obtained Good Supply Practices certification. According to a White Paper entitled “Status Quo of Drug Supervision in China” dated July 18, 2008 and issued by the PRC Information Office of the State Council, there were more than 340,000 retail pharmaceutical stores in China in 2007. (See http://former.sfda.gov.cn/cmsweb/webportal/W205/A64028182.html). Given the level of fragmentation and increased regulatory requirements, the Company believes retailers with an effective regional presence and a strong reputation are likely to thrive.
Non-Pharmaceutical Sales Opportunity at Retail Pharmacies
We believe drugstore non-pharmaceutical merchandise, combined with prescription and non-prescription drugs, provides customers with a complete wellness solution. Non-pharmaceutical merchandise includes nutrition supplements, beauty, cosmetics and fragrance products, personal care products, as well as consumable, seasonal, promotional and other non-prescription products.
Challenges for the Drugstore Industry in China and Increased Competition
While the Chinese economy in general and the drugstore industry in particular have grown significantly in the past decade, such growth may not continue in the future. The drugstore industry in China faces a number of challenges, including:
The growth profile of Guangxi province is based on the following three factors:
We have land use rights to the 40,000 square meters of land on which our manufacturing facilities are located that are granted and allocated to us by the government. According to Chinese law, the government owns all the land in China and companies or individuals are authorized to use the land only through land use rights granted or allocated by, or leased from, the PRC government. We currently have adequate manufacturing capacity for our marketed products.
Our production plant maintains Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) certification authorized by the national accreditation bodies of the PRC. A GMP-certified facility operates under the GMP parameters prescribed by the institution granting such certification. GMP parameters are operating standards that are formed to ensure product quality, by regulating the manufacturing space, the storage warehouse for raw materials and finished products, and laboratory areas of the production facility. Hefeng Pharmaceutical operates our production line and holds a general GMP Certificate that was issued on July 14, 2009 and will expire on July 13, 2014, and also holds a GMP Certificate for Small Volume Parental Solution that was issued on July 10, 2006 and will expire on July 9, 2011. The GMP Certificates cover all products that we manufacture, as well as some products that we do not presently manufacture. Both GMP Certificates will be subject to renewal for an additional five-year term.
We require a supply of quality raw materials to manufacture our products. Historically, we have not had difficulty obtaining raw materials from suppliers. Currently, we rely on numerous suppliers to deliver our required raw materials. We typically enter into one-year contracts with numerous suppliers in China to secure a steady supply of raw materials throughout the year.
Our business operations are located in Guangxi province which hosts many second and third-tier cities with less competition in the market of manufacture and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Through our experience in operating in such a business environment, we have accumulated extensive business operating experience in developing a market in second- and third-tier cities and rural areas, and have built a strong reputation and brand name awareness in Guangxi province. Moreover, we have not only gained valuable experience in operational management, but also built up a strong sales network in Guangxi provision. With the brand name and leading position we have established in Guangxi province, we will continue building and expanding our retail and wholesale business in the second- and third-tier cities and the rural areas in Guangxi province through our current retail stores and the new stores that we may acquire in the future. Based on continued forecasted growth in Guangxi province, we may apply the business model we have established in Guangxi province to our business expansion in the second- and third-tier cities and the rural areas of our contiguous provinces, such as Yunnan or Huainan provinces.
Marketing and Sales
We manufacture and market 19 products, consisting of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Our pharmaceutical products are marketed to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and retail stores. We maintain 22 sales offices throughout Guangxi Province and employ approximately 53 sales and marketing professionals. Where appropriate, we leverage the synergies between complementary products and distribution channels to accelerate the market penetration of our new products.
With respect to our retail stores, our marketing and promotion strategy is to build brand recognition, increase customer traffic to our stores, attract new customers, build strong customer loyalty, maximize repeat customer visits and develop incremental revenue opportunities. We work with vendors to organize promotional campaigns, and vendors typically assign sales persons to our retails stores for these activities. We also hold promotional functions, including price reductions and free gifts, during major Chinese holidays. We also place advertisements in local newspapers regarding our promotions.
We believe that we are well positioned to compete in the fast-developing Chinese pharmaceutical market with our strong brand, diverse product portfolio, research and development capabilities, established sales and marketing network and favorable cost structure. We believe that competition and leadership in our industry are based on managerial and technological expertise, and the ability to identify and exploit commercially viable products. Other factors affecting our competitive position include time to market, patent position, product efficacy, safety, convenience, reliability, availability and pricing.
The pharmaceutical industry in China is intensely competitive, rapidly evolving and highly fragmented. In many large cities in China, we need to not only compete with other retail drugstores, but also face increasing competition pressure from discount stores, convenience stores and supermarkets. In order to maintain our competitive position in the market, we have increasingly diversified products and services by offering some non-drug products that are provided in regular convenience stores. In addition, we also increased our competitiveness through careful selection of store location, merchandise, and services.
With the continuous consolidation of the pharmaceutical industry and opening of new drugstore chains in large cities, we will face more competition in the industry. However, in many of our targeted second- and third- tier cities and rural areas, we are facing less competition because major drugstore chains have not entered into the market. We are in a good position to establish our standing and reputation in these targeted markets. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry has entrance barriers for new entrants due to the requirements for such resources as capital, brand name and management expertise. Further, PRC laws and regulations limit a foreign investor’s ownership in retail drugstores to the maximum of 49.0% if such investor holds ownership interest in more than 30 drug stores that sell a variety of branded drugs sourced from different suppliers. This limitation, together with the complexity of the Chinese market, creates a barrier for foreign retail drugstore chain operators to enter into the PRC market. As a result, currently we do not face notable competition from foreign owned drugstore chains.
Because our network covers many cities and areas, and many drugstore groups are regional, our competitors vary from region to region. Each region can have its own, among others, distinct demographics, local regulations and shopping style. We do not consider any individual regional drugstores as our major competitor, but we compete with them on an aggregate basis. Our main competitors in Guangxi province are Sinopharma Liuzhou Branch and Sinopharma Nanning Branch, Liuzhou Medical and Pharmaceutical Limited on wholesale side; Shenzhen Accordance Pharm. Chain Store Inc., and Hunan Laobaixing Pharmacy Chain on retail side.
Manufacturing of Pharmaceutical Products
In the pharmaceutical manufacturing business, we compete in general with Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd., Sixth Pharma Factory, Guangdong Boluo Xianfeng Pharmaceutical Group and Jiangsu Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical.
We also compete with other manufacturers in each specific drug category. For instance, although we are the sole authorized producer of Corydalis Saxicola Bunting (Yanhuanglian), which is the preferred drug treating chronic hepatitis A, B and C, there are drugs that have a similar medical effect for treating hepatitis.
The following table lists the primary competitors for our best selling products produced by Hefeng Pharmaceutical:
There are relatively well capitalized and established players in the pharmaceutical distribution business, such as Sinopharm Group Co. Ltd, Liuzhou Medical and Pharmaceutical Limited and Jointtown Pharmaceutical group, which have built an intensive nationwide network while our distribution business is relatively regionally strong. Jointtown Pharmaceutical Group does not have any subsidiaries in Guangxi Province. Sinopharm Group has two subsidiaries in Guangxi Province, in Liuzhou Branch and Nanning. Sinopham specializes in large volume, low margin bulk sales to regional distributors, while we specialize in higher margin end customers, including direct sales to hospitals.
We are subject to various Chinese laws and regulations pertaining to the pharmaceutical industry. We have attained certificates, permits, and licenses required for the operation of a pharmaceutical enterprise and the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in China.
In 1998, the PRC State Food and Drug Administration (“SFDA”) introduced the GMP Certificate in order to promote quality and safety of pharmaceutical production. Good Manufacturing Practices were revised in July and October, 2004. We are required to meet GMP standards in order to continue manufacturing pharmaceutical products and health foods. For each new product, we prepare documentation of pharmacological, toxicity, pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism studies in addition to providing samples of the drug. The documentation and samples are then submitted to the provincial food and drug administration. This process typically takes approximately three months. After the documentation and samples have been approved by the provincial food and drug administration, the provincial administration submits the approved documentation and samples to the SFDA. The SFDA examines the documentation and tests the samples and presents the findings to the New Drug Examination Committee for approval. If the application is approved by the SFDA, the SFDA will issue a clinical trial license to the applicant for clinical trials. This clinical trial license approval typically takes one year, followed by approximately two years of trials, depending on the category and class of the new drug. The SFDA then examines the documentation from the trial and, if approved, issues the new drug license to the applicant. This process usually takes eight months. The entire process takes anywhere from three to four years.
The GMP certificate is valid for a term of five years, the pharmaceutical products production permits are subject to renewal every five years, and the health food production permits are valid for three-year terms, and each must be renewed before its expiration, if applicable. If our GMP certificate expires without renewal, we will not be able to continue manufacturing pharmaceutical products, which will cause our production operations to be terminated.
In addition, a distributor of pharmaceutical products in China must obtain a pharmaceutical distribution permit from the relevant provincial or local SFDA branches. The distribution permit is granted if the relevant SFDA provincial branch receives satisfactory inspection results of the distributor’s facilities, warehouse, hygiene environment, quality control systems, personnel and equipment. A pharmaceutical distribution permit is valid for five years.
The SFDA applies Good Supply Practice (“GSP”) standards to all pharmaceutical wholesale distributors as well as to retail to ensure the quality of distribution in China. The currently applicable GSP standards require pharmaceutical distributors to implement controls on the distribution of medicine, including standards regarding staff qualifications, distribution premises, warehouses, inspection equipment and facilities, management and quality control. A certificate for GSP standards, or GSP certificate, is valid for five years, except for a newly established pharmaceutical distribution company, for which the GSP certificate is valid for only one year. If our GSP certificate expires without renewal, we will not be able to continue distributing pharmaceutical products, which will cause our wholesale and retail distribution to be terminated.
As a leading pharmaceutical distributor in the region, we are well-positioned to benefit from the strong growth, consolidation, and regulatory reform in the PRC pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.
The PRC healthcare market is one of the fastest-growing healthcare markets in the world, driven by China’s rapidly growing economy, rising living standards, increased health consciousness, large aging population and proactive government policies. Furthermore, the PRC Government recently announced a reform plan to spend RMB850 billion on healthcare in addition to the regular healthcare budget from 2009 to 2011, in order to increase the availability of healthcare, basic medicines and health insurance coverage for people in China. As a comparison, in 2007, the total healthcare expenditure in China was approximately RMB1.1 trillion, of which approximately RMB230 billion was government spending, according to the Ministry of Health. The healthcare reform plan is expected to accelerate growth in the PRC pharmaceutical industry not only by the increased government spending, but also by the expected increases in private healthcare spending stimulated by larger government subsidies to PRC residents, as per capita healthcare spending remains much lower than in developed countries. We are well-positioned to capture business opportunities resulting from this fast growing market.
Building up a modernized logistic, a streamlined supply chain and increased capital entrance barrier for smaller competitors to further strengthen our leading position and differentiate in the region.
In addition, China’s pharmaceutical distribution market is highly fragmented and is characterized by inefficient supply chains. The highly fragmented pharmaceutical distribution industry has recently commenced a process of consolidation, which has led to an increase in market share of the pharmaceutical distributors in the market, we expect the PRC pharmaceutical distribution market to continue to consolidate into one with larger and more efficient distributors. In addition, we expect the healthcare reform plan to promote further consolidation, as it calls for reducing the number of layers between manufacturers and consumers of medicines. We believe that we have the scale, industry standing, brand and financial strength to compete effectively during this process of consolidation. The PRC Government has also adopted measures to raise the operating standards of pharmaceutical companies and promote the quality of distribution of pharmaceutical products in China, in order to ensure a stable supply of safe, effective medicines at reasonable prices. We believe we will benefit from future regulatory reforms, which require pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors to implement more stringent standards on the manufacturing and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Unlike smaller distributors, we have a large-scale distribution network, high quality equipment and facilities, leading management and qualified personnel, which are required to satisfy the higher standards. These attributes also provide us with a competitive edge over our competitors.
We plan to invest in a modernized logistics center. We estimate the costs of the center to be approximately RMB 150 million. We have not committed to specific timing for our implementation of this advanced logistics center. The timing will depend on the availability of funding, which may come from cash generated from operations, private or public financing or bank loans.
Leading Product and Brand Name in Diversified Area
Over the years, we have developed and introduced a number of pharmaceutical products under the brand name Asio (亚太), which we believe are the leading products in their respective market segments, including Levodopa, which treats the stiffness, tremors, spasms, and poor muscle control of Parkinson’s disease; Hydroxycamptotbecine Injection, which we believe is one of the best choices to fight cancers of various kinds with minimal side effects; Tabellae Sarcandrae, which is called Chinese anti-biotic and has similar anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects as anti-biotics used in Western medicine; Corydalis Saxicola Bunting (Yanhuanglian), which treats hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, liver ascites and liver cancer; and Yinge Tongmai Tea, which improves cardio-vascular condition and blood circulation, and can be taken as a normal healthy drink on a daily basis. As a result, “Asio (亚太)” has become a widely recognized brand name for our self-developed drugs in China. Among our five best-selling drugs, we are the sole producer of Corydalis Saxicola Bunting (Yanhuanglian) and Hydroxycamptotbecine Injection.
In addition, our sales and marketing teams are specialized in promoting products in different therapeutic categories. The teams have strong relationships with healthcare executives, doctors and pharmacies in their respective target markets and possess extensive sales and marketing experience in promoting prescription and non-prescription pharmaceutical products.
Strong Research and Development Capability
Our research and development department relies upon a research institute jointly formed by us and several renowned Chinese medicine universities, including China Medicine University located in Nanjing China, which focuses on utilizing Guangxi’s natural herbal medicine resources to produce drugs that meet the demand of the Chinese domestic market. Currently we pay for such research and development on a project by project basis, which helps us to reduce costs related to an in-house research and development team and to have access to the latest advances in this area. In 2008 and 2009 we spent approximately $0.1 million and $0.7 million, respectively on research and development.
Guangxi is a province with a wealth of natural resources for developing traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, they also used great efforts to discover advanced production process of Levodopa and Corydalis Saxicola Bunting (Yanhuanglian), to develop better understanding of the composition of Hydroxycamptotbecine and its derivatives, to develop key technology of figure print quality control, and to research the production technology of herbal medicine in limestone mountainous areas.
Currently, we are working with the research team for the development of Corydalis Saxicola Bunting Injection Powder by means of vein injection on the foundation of our current Corydalis Saxicola Bunting Injection. Pre-clinical research is now undertaken by the research team in respect of the production tactics, quality standard research, samples inspection, stability testing, package screening process development and the pre-requisite research work required before the application of clinical research. No exact timetable is available for the launch of this new drug in the market.
Extensive Wholesale and Retail Distribution Network and medi-care qualified stores
We operate wholesale and retail distribution networks covering major cities, townships, and counties of Guangxi province. Our wholesale network offers more than 10,000 pharmaceutical products to our clients. Further, BCT Retail offers more than 3,200 pharmaceutical products in 170 retail stores, holding the leading market position in many major cities of Guangxi province. Among the 170 stores, 21 stores are covered by medi-care insurance plan for citizens and employees. We’ve also signed an MOU with local authorities to be authorized to open 30 retail stores under the New Rural Cooperative Health Issuance Plan.
Economic Scope and Integration Ability
We believe we have the potential to expand our scale by acquiring more wholesale and retail networks. By acquisition of a production facility in 2008, we have established a full-integrated operation. Established in the early 1970s, our production facility has accumulated a large reserve of production licenses, established an experienced management team, formed a strong research and development team, and developed solid relationships with local raw material providers. This integration enables us to enjoy economies of scale and also provides us with an ability to increase our operating efficiency in order to sustain strong profit margins and favorable growth rates.
Experienced Management Team with Proven Track Record
Over the past decade, Mr. Hui Tian Tang, Chairman of our board of directors and other members of our senior management team have provided successful leadership in our operations and increased our revenue and profit. Many members of our senior management team have worked with us since our inception or otherwise have broad experience in the retail industry, and have developed extensive expertise in operating a national chain of drugstores, which is important to our future development. The Chief Operating Officer of Liuzhou BCT, Jing Hua Li, has extensive experience in chain store retailing, gained from his four years service with Meidong Bio-technology (AOB), a publicly held multinational pharmaceutical corporation. In addition, the majority of our mid-level managers and managers of our regional operations and stores have been with us for many years. These managers have obtained extensive experience through our internal management training system and real practice in managing retail stores and distribution centers.
Well-established Good Supply Practices (GSP) control system
Our logistics system is established in line with GSP. We also have a full-time GSP supervision body comprised of professionals with professional pharmacist qualification or pharmacist-in-charge titles. They are familiar with national laws and regulations on medicine quality, and have extensive knowledge and practical experience in the implementation of GSP in the enterprise.
Professional storage, advanced transportation equipment, comprehensive management system and detailed flow records are integrated with hardware and software of the pharmaceutical business. The medicine warehouse occupies an area of 4,800 square meters, including warehouses of room temperature (0-30°C), cool (<20°C) and cold (2-8°C), stock control and subsidiary operation area, chemical laboratory and has advanced instruments and facilities.
GSP, which can be called a total quality control system for the pharmaceutical industry, is strictly observed from purchase to sale to storage, forming a secure tunnel for the medicine transportation and guaranteeing medicine quality.
Expand Sales Networks targeting the Second and Third Tier Cities and Rural Markets
We believe that maintaining a large number of retail stores in desirable geographic markets is essential to our competitiveness and our ability to increase our profitability. We are attempting to significantly expand our market presence in our contiguous provinces in China by effectively leveraging our existing operating infrastructure.
Maintain and Improve Customer Loyalty with Effective Marketing and Promotional Programs
We believe that a strong brand name is critical to obtaining customers’ trust in our business, as well as building customer loyalty and increasing customer visits to our stores. As a result, we intend to continue promoting aggressively and effectively both our brand name and our private label products. Specifically, we will continue to deploy the following marketing and promotional initiatives:
1. adopting advanced category management by focusing on seasonal and cross-merchandising, and offering a wider selection of products;
2. offering services that are carefully tailored to our customers’ healthcare needs, including integrated health programs focused on health supplements, weight management, diabetes, infant care and birth control;
3. enhancing our customer loyalty by organizing community-based activities and targeted promotion programs;
4. using data mining techniques to tailor relevant promotional offers to our target customers, especially our loyalty members;
5. enlarging the number of our promotional partners and developing additional promotional campaigns with these partners; and
6. advertising our brand and private label products in selected newspapers that service our targeted cities.
Selectively Pursue Complementary Acquisitions of Chain Stores
We currently plan to selectively acquire drugstore chains or independently operated drugstores that complement our existing store network or help us to establish a presence in new markets. In particular, we plan to grow through first acquiring similar businesses in the cities in Guangxi province and then acquiring business targets outside of the Guangxi province. We target retail chains or individual stores in prime locations and with good brand names, well-developed facilities and customer bases that are complementary to ours, and which are commercially attractive. We believe that our relationship with many industry participants and our knowledge of, and operational expertise in, the drugstore market in China will assist us in making acquisitions. We also believe that we can rapidly and successfully integrate newly acquired stores into our current distribution network and quickly realize operating and financial benefits.
Invest in more advanced logistics and information management systems to improve cost and operating efficiencies
We intend to invest in an advanced logistic center. In Liuzhou city first, we plan to establish regional and provincial logistics facilities equipped with leading technology and information systems. We believe that these improvements will help to provide a direct and high-speed information exchange channel that connects us to our customers and suppliers throughout China, covering each stage of our pharmaceutical distribution operations, including electronic order entry, invoice preparation, purchasing, inventory tracking, GSP-certified warehousing and logistics and delivery arrangements. Once these improvements are completed, we believe that we will be able to shorten delivery lead-times, increase responsiveness to customer demands and reduce distribution and selling expenses.
We have not adopted a specific timetable for implementing the logistic center project, and the expansion plan with respect to our retail stores is our first priority to be carried out in the short term. The timing of the capital investment of the modernized logistic center is subject to two principal factors:
In addition, the timing will depend on the availability of funding, which may come from cash generated from operations, private or public financing or bank loans.
Continue to build upon our integrated business platform in order to enhance the synergies between our pharmaceutical distribution, retail pharmacy and other businesses
We will continue to build upon our integrated business platform in order to enhance the synergies that arise from our pharmaceutical operations spanning the distribution, retail and manufacturing of pharmaceutical and healthcare products and expand our reach to end-customers. We plan to leverage our existing businesses to capitalize on particular opportunities that may arise and create efficiencies and cost savings in our business operations. We also plan to utilize our extensive distribution network to provide reliable supply channels for our retail drug stores which, in turn, will sell the pharmaceutical and healthcare products supplied by our distribution network. Further, we intend to utilize our pharmaceutical manufacturing operations to produce private-label products for our retail pharmacy operations. We expect to maintain the flexibility to reallocate manufacturing capacity of our products in response to potential changes in supply and demand, as well as to control inventory in a way that enables us to meet expected demand for our products. With operations in multiple segments of the pharmaceutical industry, we are able to maintain control over the quality, supply chain management and marketing of our products. We believe that our integrated business platform maximizes the synergies between our businesses by optimizing our operational efficiency while reducing the costs of our customers, allowing us to further solidify our leadership in the PRC pharmaceutical distribution industry.
We believe our rights to our trade names and trademarks are the most important factors in implementing our marketing strategy. Our company’s name, Baicaotang (百草堂), means “Place for all kind of Chinese Herbal Medicines” in Chinese. We registered “Baicaotang (百草堂)” as the trademark for our business group, and Asio (亚太) as the trademark for the medicines that our production plant produces. The extension of the Baicaotang (百草堂) trademark was granted on May 5, 2008 and expires on July 13, 2018. The Asio (亚太) trademark was granted on August 15, 2005 and expires on August 15, 2015.
Under the PRC law, we have the exclusive right to use a trademark for products and services for which the trademark has been registered with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. We use our trademarks throughout our operations and are presently in the process of transferring trademark registrations within our corporate structure to better align registration with usage. Trademark registration is valid for 10 years, starting from the day the registration is approved. For renewal of registration, an application shall be made within 6 months before the expiration of such 10 years. If no application is made within that period, an extension of 6 months may be granted. We also rely on trade secrets to protect our know-how and other proprietary information.
One of our products, Tabellae Sarcandrae, has protection as a Traditional Chinese Medicine which was granted on December 19, 2006 and expires on August 1, 2012 and is renewable. During the period of the protection, only the company which has been granted the right of protection can manufacture the specified product during the protection period. When we undertake the renewal process, we apply to the local authority and then to the Ministry of Public Health which assigns the National Committee on the Assessment of the Protected TCM Products to inspect our facilities and announce whether their report satisfies the renewal criteria. In order to apply for this certificate, we need to provide certain information such as the GMP certificate, research data, details of the protected drugs, and a safety assessment.
We currently have no patents or pending patent applications.
As of the date of this prospectus, we had 1,180 full-time employees and no part-time employees.
All land in the PRC is owned by the government and cannot be sold to any individual or entity. Instead, the government grants or allocates landholders a “land use right,” which we sometimes refer to informally as land ownership. There are four ways of acquiring land use rights in the PRC:
Granted land use rights are provided by the government in exchange for a grant fee, and carry the rights to pledge, mortgage, lease and transfer the land within the term of the grant. Land is granted for a fixed term, generally 70 years for residential use, 50 years for industrial use, and 40 years for commercial and other use. The term is renewable in theory. Unlike in western nations, granted land must be used for the specific purpose for which it was granted.