INTERNATIONAL, INC. SIGNS EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION
BETHESDA, MARYLAND (June 11, 1998) . . . . Chindex International, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHDX) (formerly U.S.-China Industrial Exchange, Inc.), the leading independent American company providing Western healthcare products distribution and medical services in the Peoples Republic of China, today announced it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Cosmetique Active International, a division of Paris-based LOreal S.A. (LOreal). Under the terms of the agreement, Chindex will distribute VICHY Laboratoires health-oriented cosmetics and skin care products, manufactured by LOreal, in selected pharmacies in Eastern China, beginning with Shanghai. Test market shipments are expected to begin in July 1998.
As of 10 April 1998, Chindex assumed exclusive responsibility for sales and physical distribution of cosmetics, including skin care products, sold under the VICHY Laboratoires brand of LOreal. LOreal is the worlds largest producer of cosmetic products and distributes VICHY as well as other brands worldwide through its subsidiary, Cosmetique Active International S.N.C. VICHY products have been marketed exclusively in retail pharmacies for over 60 years and are currently sold in about 50 countries.
"We are pleased to be doing business with VICHY Laboratoires," Roberta Lipson, Chindex Chairperson, President and CEO commented in Beijing. "The distribution agreement with VICHY Laboratoires begins our expansion into Chinas rapidly growing retail pharmacy sector, which is a very important strategic step for Chindex. It expands the markets we serve and, because of our many years of experience and investment in distribution and sales resources, we are well positioned to capitalize on the growth in retail pharmacies in China."
Mr. Paolo Gasparrini, President and Managing Director of LOreal China, said, "Chindex is an excellent partner for VICHY Laboratoires for this new program in China. We are very happy with the agreement and have high expectations for results in the years to come."
According to Mr. Stephane Wilmet, manager of the VICHY program in China, "We have been preparing for this new product launch for some time now. With Chindex as our distribution partner, we will begin with a test-marketing phase in select pharmacies. Our plans then call for significant expansion within two years. Our aim is to bring profitable personal care products and international retailing practices to Chinas underdeveloped retail pharmacy sector."
James Spear, Vice President of Products Distribution at Chindex, heads up the logistics and distribution profit centers which will provide the platform for the VICHY Laboratoires program. "Since we will be pioneering a market segment in retail pharmacy that does not exist in China today, there is a tremendous potential for both Chindex and VICHY Laboratoires with this program," Spear said.
Chindex is a leading American company in healthcare in the Greater Chinese marketplace including Hong Kong and Macau. It provides representative and distribution services to a number of major multinational companies including Acuson, Johnson & Johnson, Kendall Healthcare Products, and Schering AG. It also operates a private hospital corporation in China. With over seventeen years of experience, 200 employees, and operations in the United States, China and Hong Kong, the Chindex strategy is to expand its cross-cultural reach by providing leading edge technologies, quality products and services to Greater Chinas professional communities.
The statements in this press release that relate to future plans, events or performance are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with uncertainties pertaining to customer orders, demand for products and services, development of markets for the Companys products and services and other risks identified in the Companys SEC filings. Actual results, events and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.