Pharmaceutical firm launches IPO

Business | Carrie Chen and Reuters 12 Oct 2016

China Resources Pharmaceutical Group, a unit of state-owned China Resources Holdings, is seeking to raise between HK$13 billion and HK$15.6 billion through an initial public offering on the Hong Kong bourse.

The company plans to sell 1.54 billion shares at an indicative price range of HK$8.45 to HK$10.15 apiece.

The IPO will be launched tomorrow, with pricing scheduled for October 20, and trading debut on October 28.

Up to 50 percent of the shares -- worth about US$915 million (HK$7.14 billion) -- will be sold to eight cornerstone investors, including China Life Insurance Co (2628), Anbang Insurance Group, and Thomas Lau Luen-hung, chairman of Lifestyle International Holdings (1212), which operates Sogo Hong Kong.

Joint IPO sponsors will be Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CCB International, China International Capital Corp (3908), and Goldman Sachs.

Founded in 2007, CR Pharma has become China's second largest pharmaceutical firm by revenue. It is involved in a whole chain of pharmaceutical and healthcare products, including research and development, manufacturing, distribution and retailing.

The firm's trademarks include Sanjiu (known as 999), Double Crane, Saike, Zizhu, Dong-E-E-Jiao, and Tianhe.

Meanwhile, investors gearing up for the IPO of Ant Financial, the US$60 billion online finance arm spun off by e-commerce giant Alibaba, will have to wait until at least late 2017, as the business puts growth first, Reuters reported.

Sources with knowledge of the plans said Ant Financial, whose anchor business is Alipay, China's largest online payments service, is focusing on expanding its existing 450 million-strong army of daily users by adding merchants and customers.

One source said that, as of last month, Ant had yet to contact Chinese regulators to start the lengthy listing process and join a queue of more than 700 companies waiting to list.

An Ant spokeswoman said the group had not set a timetable or location for its listing, and the China Securities Regulatory Commission did not comment.

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