Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Hong Kong-based China Huarong International Holdings Ltd (Huarong) on its US$18 million investment via convertible notes into Bionic Vision Technologies Pty Ltd (BVT), an Australian company owned by a series of university research vehicles.
BVT has been established to develop and commercialise bionic eye implants to help restore limited vision to people with retinitis pigmentosa.
Huarong’s investment will be used to manufacture, conduct trials in relation to and commercialise the bionic eye implants. Future capital raising may involve further private investment or an initial public offering.
Huarong’s investment in BVT is multi-jurisdictional, involving not only Huarong and BVT, but also Hong Kong-based State Path Capital Limited. Given the innovative nature of the bionic vision implants, the intellectual property aspects of this deal were key.