(Yicai Global) Feb. 7 -- Hebei Yangyuanzhihui Beverage Co. [SHE:603156] announced the results of its recent initial public offering on Feb. 1. Its shares were priced at CNY78.73 at issue, making it the most expensive initial public offering on China's A-share market to date.
After the stock listing, all long-serving employees at the firm have become millionaires, cashing in profits 10,000 times the principal on equity purchases they made 12 years ago.
The present beverage firm formed following the ownership reform of state-owned enterprise Hebei Yanyuan Healthy Beverage Co., then a unit of Hebei Hengshui Laobaigan Liquor Co. Fifty-eight employees, including two managers -- Yao Kuizhang and Li Hongbing -- took over all the equity in the firm in late 2005. The voluntary contributors were mostly 'grass-roots' level staff members, including three accountants, four warehouse workers, five sales representatives, two drivers, a woodworker, a cook and 43 other junior employees.
About 13 years later, the IPO created many rags-to-riches stories. Bu Jianling worked as a warehouse stocker before the ownership reform. She bought shares for CNY10,000. With the stock market flotation, her 1,232,300 shares are now worth CNY104 million.
Unlike many other IPO deals backed by private equity firms, ordinary employees shared most of the wealth Yangyuanzhihui's stock listing created. "The company did not actively seek strategic investors, and this is in part attributable to its relatively good cash flow," an investment banker connected with the firm said Feb. 5.
The company was renamed Hebei Yangyuanzhihui Beverage in late 2009 and issued CNY5.8 million worth of new shares through a private placement to employees and distributors the following year. The new shares were priced at CNY3.5, meaning that their value has increased at least 20-fold in seven years.