(Yicai Global) July 31 -- Wumei Technology Group, one of China’s biggest retailers, is preparing to list its supermarket chains Wumart Stores and Metro China as well as its digital supply chain as one entity in Hong Kong this year, The Paper reported today, citing an informed source.
The Beijing-based conglomerate operates Wumart Stores, which runs the biggest supermarket chain in northern China, and the China operations of home improvement chain B&Q. Last month Wumei took control of German wholesale chain Metro’s China division.
Some 65 percent of Wumei’s revenue came from its supermarket chains last year. Department stores accounted for 6.67 percent and home appliances 3.34 percent.
This is not the first time that the group has listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Wumart Stores went public on the Hong Kong Growth Enterprise Market in 2003, becoming the first private Chinese retailer to list in Hong Kong. It delisted in 2016 amid uncertainties for the hypermarket business.
The conglomerate now has just one listed unit, department store operator Yinchuan Xinhua Commercial Group, which floats on the Shanghai stock exchange.
The move is expected to boost founder Zhang Wenzhong’s considerable riches should it go ahead. Zhang, who indirectly holds 97 percent of shares, ranked 101st on the 2019 Forbes China Rich List with a wealth of CNY22.6 billion (USD3.2 billion).
Zhang’s meteoric rise to riches has been dogged by controversy. In 2008, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a court in northern Hebei province for fraud, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. He appealed and was eventually released in 2013 after two commutations.
Editor: Kim Taylor