KKR-Backed Cofco Meat Seeks Up to $333 Million in Hong Kong IPO

  • Chinese pork producer offers shares at HK$2 to HK$2.65 apiece
  • Company aims to price offering Oct. 24, start trading Nov. 1

Cofco Meat Holdings Ltd., the Chinese pork producer part-owned by KKR & Co., is seeking to raise as much as $333 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering.

The state-backed company is offering 975.6 million shares at HK$2 to HK$2.65 apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg on Monday. Haier Group Corp. agreed to buy $57.4 million of stock as the biggest cornerstone investor in the offering, the terms show.

Investors are returning to the Chinese food industry after a series of safety scandals that shook consumer confidence. Shares of WH Group Ltd., the Chinese owner of the Smithfield bacon brand, have risen 56 percent in Hong Kong trading this year, outpacing the 5.2 percent gain in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

KKR, Baring Private Equity Asia, Hopu Investment Management Co. and Boyu Capital bought stakes in Cofco Meat in 2014, according to a pre-listing filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange. Hopu sold its interest in the company last year to Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte, the filing shows.

Cornerstone Investors

Cofco Meat follows Dali Foods Group Co., the maker of “Copico” brand potato chips, and seasoning producer Yihai International Holding Ltd. in pursuing a Hong Kong listing to fund expansion. First-time share sales in the city have raised $19.1 billion this year, down from $21.1 billion during the same period in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Other cornerstone investors in the Cofco Meat offering include China Life Insurance Co., which agreed to purchase $20 million of shares, the terms show. China Life Franklin Asset Management Co. will invest $10 million, according to the terms. Such stock buyers agree to keep their holdings for six months in return for early, guaranteed allocation.

The company plans to price the offering Oct. 24 and begin trading Nov. 1, the terms show. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are joint sponsors of the deal.

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