• Sanitary napkin maker gauges interest in Qinqin Foodstuffs
  • Candy business booked $198 million revenue last year

Hengan International Group Co., the Chinese diaper and sanitary napkin manufacturer, is exploring a sale of its confectionery business that could fetch about $300 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company is working with Bank of America Corp. to gauge potential buyers’ interest in its QinQin Foodstuffs Group Co. unit, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private. Hengan’s food and snacks business, whose products include “Qinqin” candy and jellies as well as “Ai Li Ge” waffles, reported HK$1.53 billion ($198 million) of sales in 2014.

Hengan executive director Hui Lin Chit said by phone “it is possible” the company will sell non-core businesses, though it hasn’t made any decision. Hengan has received advice from Bank of America, he said. A spokeswoman for Bank of America declined to comment.

Hengan’s food and snacks products, which contributed about 7 percent of sales to the company in the first half of this year, reported revenue dropped 8.1 percent, the worst performer among its major businesses. The economic slowdown has affected sales because snacks are not daily necessities, the company said in its latest interim report.

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