Danone to sell Mengniu stake

Business | Agencies and Avery Chen 13 May 2021

Danone, under pressure from investment funds over its returns, will sell a 9.8 percent stake in China Mengniu Dairy (2319), the French food group said yesterday.

Danone plans to place 387.5 million shares in Mengniu, with prices ranging from HK$38.95 to HK$39.8 each, representing a 5 to 7 percent discount from yesterday's closing price. Danone could raise up to HK$15.4 billion.

Danone, whose brands include Actimel yogurt and Evian water, said the sale would take place via an accelerated bookbuilding process. The company will not hold Mengniu's shares after the deal.

Former Danone boss Emmanuel Faber was abruptly ousted as chairman and chief executive earlier this year following clashes with some board members over strategy and calls from activist funds for him to resign over the group's lackluster returns compared with some rivals.

In the primary market, retail investors placed HK$247 million on margin to bid for New Hope Services' initial public offering, data from eight local brokers showed. The property management firm is offering 200 million shares at an indicative price range of HK$3.8 to HK$4.7. It is set to debut on May 25.

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