Nongfu Spring Gets Approval for Hong Kong IPO; USD14.3 Billion Market Cap Seen
Zhang Yushuo
DATE:  Aug 03 2020
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Nongfu Spring Gets Approval for Hong Kong IPO; USD14.3 Billion Market Cap Seen Nongfu Spring Gets Approval for Hong Kong IPO; USD14.3 Billion Market Cap Seen

(Yicai Global) Aug. 3 -- Hong Kong’s regulator has approved the listing plan of Nongfu Spring, one of China's largest beverage companies. Analysts predict the company’s post-listing market value will surpass CNY100 billion (USD14.34 billion).

Nongfu Spring’s market value is conservatively put at CNY111.9 billion based on the median price-earnings ratio of 22.58 times of Hong Kong food stocks, analysts at Eastmoney Research Center said in a recent research report.

The Hangzhou-based company filed its initial public offering application with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the end of April.

The company had revenues of about CNY17.5 billion (USD2.5 billion), CNY20.5 billion and CNY24 billion in 2017, 2018 and last year, with growth rates of 17.1 percent and 17.3 percent in the past two years, per the filing. Over the past three years, its net profit margins were 19.4 percent, 17.6 percent, and 20.6 percent, respectively. It had net profit of about CNY5 billion last year.

Revenue growth in the past two years has been much higher than the 5 percent and 6.6 percent rates of China’s soft drink industry, and the 2.7 percent and 3.4 percent in the global market during the same period.

China is one of world’s biggest markets for bottled water. The country’s thirst for aqua refreshment 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, founded in 1996, wrested the third-largest market share in China in 1998 and has held it since.

Founder Zhong Shanshan owns 87.45 percent of the company. Zhong’s personal net worth will reach CNY83.9 billion after the listing even if his stake drops to 75 percent. He previously worked as a mason and journalist and used to raise culinary mushrooms and soft-shelled turtles for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, another company under Zhong’s control, mainly develops, produces, and sells in-vitro diagnostic reagents and diagnostic instruments and vaccines. It listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange this year at an issue price of CNY8.75 (USD1.30).

Shares of Wantai Biological [SHA:603392] closed almost 10 percent higher today at CNY288.61 (USD41.33), with a CNY113.91 billion market cap.

Editor: Ben Armour

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Keywords:   bottled water,IPO,Nongfu Spring