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Chinese Pork Supplier WH Group Said to Apply for $6b IPO

Smithfield Foods
U.S. regulators and Smithfield Foods Inc. shareholders approved WH Group’s $4.7 billion takeover in September, sealing the biggest Chinese purchase of an American company. Photographer: Daniel Acker/bloomberg

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- WH Group Ltd., the Chinese company that bought the world’s biggest pork supplier last year, applied to the Hong Kong stock exchange for an initial public offering, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The company plans to seek as much as $6 billion from the offering in the first half, the people said yesterday, asking not to be identified as the information is private. WH Group changed its name from Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. this month.

WH Group plans the biggest Hong Kong IPO in more than three years as rising incomes spur demand for meat in China. AIA Group Ltd. raised $20 billion through a first-time share sale in the city in October 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

BOC International Holdings Ltd., Citic Securities Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Plc and UBS AG are working on WH Group’s share sale as joint sponsors, the people said. A Hong Kong-based external spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the IPO plan.

U.S. regulators and Smithfield Foods Inc. shareholders approved WH Group’s $4.7 billion takeover in September, sealing the biggest Chinese purchase of an American company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fox Hu in Hong Kong at fhu7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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