(Yicai Global) Feb 24 -- SF Holdings (Group) Co., the parent of SF Express Co. -- one of China's largest courier firms -- rang the bell after completing its back-door listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange today. Its current stock price of 55.21 yuan -- already up more than 10% -- is the largest market capitalization on the exchange to date.
After an asset swap that valued the express delivery giant at an estimated 45 billion yuan ($7 billion), its reverse merger partner Maanshan Dintai Rare Earth & New Materials Co. [SHE:002352] will be officially renamed SF Express, per regulatory filings with the local bourse.
The listing will make SF Express the biggest Chinese courier company by market capitalization, surpassing its rival ZTO Express Inc. [NYSE:ZTO] that went public in October on the New York Stock Exchange, thereby raising $1.4 billion.
The move also makes Wang Wei, SF Express's chairman and founder, worth more than CNY111.1 billion, said media outlet China Money Network, as he holds 64.6 percent of the merged company via an entity of which he owns 99.9 percent.
Founded in 1993, SF Express is known to be backed by leading private equity players, including CITIC Capital Holding Ltd., Oriza Holdings Co., China Merchants Group Ltd. and Jade Capital Corp.
China's securities watchdog approved the back-door listing deal in October.
SF Express' market debut comes at a time when China's booming courier service sector notched business revenue of CNY400 billion last year. Officials of the State Post Bureau expect this figure to swell to CNY500 billion this year.
However, despite the backing of red hot e-commerce businesses, the sector is also plagued by rising labor costs and staff mistreatment scandals.