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Billionaire Li Said to Test Demand for Electricity IPO Next Week

Power Assets Holdings Ltd., controlled by Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing, plans to start gauging demand next week for the initial public offering of its Hong Kong electricity unit, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Power Assets may raise more than $5 billion selling as much as a 70 percent stake in Hongkong Electric Co., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Hongkong Electric is expected to start trading on Jan. 29, Power Assets said in a Dec. 15 statement. The electricity unit will have a market value of HK$48 billion ($6.2 billion) to HK$63.4 billion after the spinoff, according to the statement.

The proposed spinoff of the city’s second-largest electricity supplier comes as Li sells assets in the former British colony, where growth is slowing. Power Assets will use proceeds from the spinoff to fund global acquisitions, it said.

Shares of Power Assets fell 1.3 percent in Hong Kong trading to HK$61.00 as of 1:18 p.m.

Mimi Yeung, a spokeswoman for Power Assets, wasn’t immediately available for comment. The company didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the timetable earlier today, citing a person familiar with the situation.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc are joint sponsors for the listing, Power Assets said in the statement. Hongkong Electric, which started operations in 1890, provides power to about 568,000 customers.

Li, 85, has a net worth of $30.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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