Grifols says Haier Group still OK to buy stake in Shanghai RAAS

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Spanish pharma company Grifols said on Sunday evening Chinese home appliance maker Haier Group still plans to close the acquisition of a 20% stake in Shanghai RAAS Blood Products as announced in late December.

Grifols currently owns 26.58% in Shanghai RAAS.

Grifols quoted Haier Group’s chairwoman saying: “We continue to work to close the deal as originally planned,” in a filing to the Spanish stock market regulator.

In an emailed statement, Grifols’ communication team said that were Haier to back out of the deal, it would be a violation of the sale deal and would trigger legal actions. It added the deal agreement did not include pre-agreed penalties if it fell through.

Haier’s investment relations office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Speculation on the $1.8 billion deal arose earlier this week after Grifols shares plummeted following a report from short-seller Gotham City questioning the Spanish company’s accounting.

Among the allegations, Gotham says Grifols has been artificially manipulating its debt and earnings through transactions with a related entity, to the effect that its leverage ratio is nearly double what Grifols has reported.

Grifols has rejected all the accusations and says its financial accounts have been signed off by auditors and regulators.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley, editing by Inti Landauro, William Maclean and Christina Fincher)