WH Group (288), the world’s biggest pork supplier, will raise net proceeds of HK$15.3 billion ($1.97 billion) from a revived Hong Kong IPO.
The company offered 2.57 billion shares at HK$6.20 each, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. It may exercise a greenshoe option to sell an additional 385 million shares. Trading of the shares will start on August 5.
The share sale comes as demand is expected to pick up for the meat industry in China in the second half. Wan Long, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, owns 9.1 percent of the Luohe, China-based meat packer through two holding companies.
The company is raising money to repay part of a $4 billion loan that funded its purchase of Smithfield Foods Inc., the biggest Chinese acquisition of a U.S. firm. WH Group revived the public offering in July, after scrapping plans to raise as much as $5.3 billion in April.
The share sale is taking place amid a meat scandal in China. Companies including Starbucks Corp. (SBUX:US) and KFC and Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM:US) have cut ties with food-processing giant OSI Group, after a Chinese television station discovered workers at its subsidiary in Shanghai repackaged and sold expired meat to restaurant customers. McDonald’s Corp. (MCD:US), a longtime OSI partner, pulled beef, pork and chicken items from its Chinese restaurants.
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