SHANGHAI :
China’s Bottled Water Giant Nongfu Spring Seeks Hong Kong IPO After Much Speculation
Dou Shicong
DATE:  Apr 30 2020
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China’s Bottled Water Giant Nongfu Spring Seeks Hong Kong IPO After Much Speculation China’s Bottled Water Giant Nongfu Spring Seeks Hong Kong IPO After Much Speculation

(Yicai Global) April 30 -- Nongfu Spring, a frontrunner among China’s bottled water and beverage companies, ended years of speculation about a first-time share sale yesterday by submitting a listing prospectus with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The Hangzhou-based company did not disclose how much it intends to raise in its initial public offering, but Bloomberg News reported back in November that it was mulling a USD1 billion Hong Kong IPO and could list as soon the first half of this year. 

China is one of world’s biggest markets for bottled water. The country’s thirst for the product is expected to be worth USD58 billion this year and the sector is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 4.9 percent through 2023, according to Statista. Nongfu Spring had cornered over a fifth of that market for an eighth straight year last year, according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Formed in 1996, Nongfu Spring signed up China’s largest investment bank Citic Securities for a mainland IPO in 2008. The plan was aborted in 2018, however, at which time the company said it had no plans to list as the firm did not need to tap the capital market.

Net profit at Nongfu Spring jumped 21 percent last year to CNY5 billion (USD707 million) on a 17 percent gain in operating revenue to CNY24 billion, the IPO prospectus said.

Zhong Shanshan, founder of Nongfu Spring's parent firm Yangshengtang, owns about 87 percent in the beverage company, both directly and indirectly through the parent’s holding.

Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, another Yangshengtang unit, listed on the mainland yesterday, raising CNY380 million (USD53.8 million) in its IPO. Its shares [SHA:603392] rose by the daily 10 percent price limit to CNY13.86 (USD1.96), giving it a CNY6 billion market cap.

Editor: Ben Armour
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Keywords:   Nongfu Spring,IPO,Hong Kong