Ping An Insurance, China’s second largest life insurer, has agreed to take a 10 per cent stake in Japanese pharmaceutical company Tsumura for 1.6 billion yuan (US$243 million) – the largest investment made by a Chinese company in Japan’s herbal medicine industry. Tsumura will sell treasury stock and issue additional shares in a private placement with China Ping An Life Insurance Co, a subsidiary of Ping An. Upon completion of the deal, Ping An Life will become the largest shareholder, said a statement issued by Ping An on Friday. The investment was conducted by Ping An Overseas Holdings. Tsumura, which has annual revenue of around US$980 million, said pricing for the private placement is set at 3,559.5 yen (US$14.23) per share, a 9.4 per cent discount to Friday’s closing price. The deal will close on October 13, Reuters reported. Both parties also announced the creation of a joint venture in China to enhance traditional Chinese medicine research, development and production technology. Tsumura was established in 1893. It is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of “kampo” herbal medicine, which traces its roots back to China, with more than 120 products, and claims an 84 per cent share of the market. Last month, Ping An reported a better-than-expected 6.5 per cent rise in net profit of 43.4 billion yuan for the first six months in 2017.