Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) has big plans for China, eyeing mergers and acquisitions and predicting twice as many China employees in the next four years.
The Minneapolis, Minn.-based med-tech giant’s Chinese workforce should hit 2,000 by 2016, spanning positions from engineering to sales.
MDT cut the ribbon on its headquarters in Shanghai in March, a step toward further localization including product development and manufacturing, and China represents 40 percent of the company’s emerging markets revenue, the China Daily news reported.
"Could we grow faster [in China]? The answer is yes. But is it wise? The answer is no," said Medtronic International’s executive VP and group president Jean-Luc Butel. "They don’t necessarily have innovative technology. They have good technology, they have good distribution … then we do want to cooperate with them," said Butel.
Last August, Medtronic, which ranked 5th on the MassDevice Big 100 list of the world’s largest medical device companies, opened a new patient care center in Beijing, a symbol of the increasing clout of China and the rest of the company’s global operations.
Over 40 percent of Medtronic’s yearly revenue now originates overseas, led by China. As of November, China generates about $1.2 billion in annualized sales (about the equivalent of its quarterly CRDM revenue) and is growing about 20 percent a year.
Late last month Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX) announced a five-year plan to jump-start commercial expansion in China, investing $150 million in hopes of seeing returns of $500 million by 2017, and GE Healthcare moved its X-ray business to Beijing.